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THE ELIZABETHAN STAGE 

VOL. II 



Oxford University Press 

London Edinburgh Glasgow Copenhagen 
New York Toronto Melbourne Cape Town 
Bombay Calcutta Madras Shanghai 
Humphrey Milford Publisher to the University 





FROM THE ENGRAVING BY WENCESLAUS HOLLAR IN DUGDALE’S 

St. Paul’s i6=;8 



THE ELIZABETHAN STAGE 
BY E.K. CHAMBERS. VOL. II 


OXFORD: AT THE CLARENDON PRESS 
M.CMXXIII 



Printed in England 



CONTENTS 

VOLUME II 


BOOK III. THE COMPANIES 

PAGE 

XII. Introduction. The Boy Companies . . i 

A. Introduction 3 

B. The Boy Companies — 

i. Children of Paul's ..... 8 

ii. Children of the Chapel and Queen's Revels . 23 

iii. Children of Windsor . . .« .61 

iv. Children of the King's Revels ... 64 

v. Children of Bristol . ... 68 

vi. Westminster School . . ~ . . .69 

vii. Eton College ...... 73 

viii. Merchant Taylors School .... 75 

ix. The Earl of Leicester's Boys ... 76 

x. The Earl of Oxford's Boys ... 76 

xi. Mr. Stanley’s Boys ..... 76 

XIII. The Adult Companies 77 

i. The Court Interludes .... 77 

ii. The Earl of Leicester's Men ... 85 

iii. Lord Rich's Men 91 

iv. Lord Abergavenny’s Men .... 92 

v. The Earl of Sussex’s Men .... 92 

vi. Sir Robert Lane's Men .... 96 

vii. The Earl of Lincoln's (Lord Clinton's) Men . 96 

viii. The Earl of Warwick's Men ... 97 

ix. The Earl of Oxford's Men .... 99 

x. The Earl of Essex’s Men .... 102 

xi. Lord Vaux’s Men ..... 103 

xii. Lord Berkeley’s Men .... 103 

xiii. Queen Elizabeth's Men . . . . 104 

xiv. The Earl of Arundel’s Men . . . 116 

xv. The Earl of Hertford's Men . . . 116 

xvi. Mr. Evelyn's Men 117 

xvii. The Earl of Derby’s (Lord Strange's) Men . 118 

xviii. The Earl of Pembroke's Men . . . 128 



VI 


CONTENTS 


The Adult Companies {cont ) — page 

xix. The Lord Admiral’s (Lord Howard’s, Earl of 

Nottingham’s), Prince Henry’s, and Elec- 
tor Palatine’s Men .... 134 

xx. The Lord Chamberlain’s (Lord Hunsdon’s) 

and King’s Men 192 

xxi. The Earl of Worcester’s and Queen Anne’s 

Men 220 

xxii. The Duke of Lennox’s Men . . . 241 

xxiii. The Duke of York’s (Prince Charles’s) Men . 241 

xxiv. The Lady Elizabeth’s Men . . . 246 

XIV. International Companies .... 261 

i. Italian Players in England . . .261 

ii. English Players in Scotland . . . 265 

iii. English Players on the Continent . . 270 

XV. Actors 295 

BOOK IV. THE PLAY-HOUSES 

XVI. Introduction. The Public Theatres . . 353 

A. Introduction . . . . . -355 

B. The Public Theatres — 

i. The Red Lion Inn ..... 379 

ii. The Bull Inn ..... 380 

iii. The Bell Inn ..... 381 

iv. The Bel Savage Inn .... 382 

v. The Cross Keys Inn .... 383 

vi. The Theatre ...... 383 

vii. The Curtain ...... 400 

viii. Newington Butts ..... 404 

ix. The Rose ...... 405 

x. The Swan 41 1 

xi. The Globe 414 

xii. The Fortune ...... 435 

xiii. The Boar’s Head ..... 443 

xiv. The Red Bull ..... 445 

xv. The Hope ...... 448 

xvi. Porter’s Hall ..... 472 

XVII. The Private Theatres 475 

i. The Blackfriars 475 

ii. The Whitefriars 515 

XVIII. The Structure and Conduct of Theatres . 518 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

Domus Capitularis S u Pauli a Meridie Prospectus. 

By Wenceslaus Hollar. From Sir William Dug- 
dale, History of St. Paul's Cathedral (1658) . Frontispiece 

Diagrams of the Blackfriars Theatres . . p. 504 

Interior of the Swan Theatre. From the drawing 
after Johannes de Witt in Arend van BuchelFs 
commonplace-book ..... p. 521 


NOTE ON SYMBOLS 

I have found it convenient, especially in Appendix A, to use the 
symbol < following a date, to indicate an uncertain date not earlier 
than that named, and the symbol > followed by a date, to indicate 
an uncertain date not later than that named. Thus 1903 < > 23 
would indicate the composition date of any part of this book. I have 
sometimes placed the date of a play in italics, where it was desirable 
to indicate the date of production rather than publication. 




BOOK III 

THE COMPANIES 

’Has led the drum before the English tragedians. 

All’s Well that Ends Well. 




XII 


INTRODUCTION. THE BOY 
COMPANIES 


[Bibliographical Note. — The first systematic investigation into the history 
of the companies was that of F. G. Fleay, which, after tentative sketches 
in his Shakespeare Manual (1876) and Life and Work of Shakespeare (1886), 
took shape in his Chronicle History of the Stage (1890). Little is added 
by the compilations of A. Albrecht, Das Englische Kindertheater (1883), 
H. Maas, Die Kindertruppen (1901) and Aussere Geschichte der Englischen 
Theatertruppen (1907), and J. A. Nairn, Boy-Actors under the Tudors and 
Stewarts (Trans, of Royal Soc. of Lit. xxxii). W. W. Greg, Henslowe's 
Diary (1904-8), made a careful study of all the companies which had 
relations with Philip Henslowe, and modified or corrected many of Fleay’s 
results. An account of the chief London companies is in A. H. Thorndike, 
Shakespeare’ s Theater (1916), and utilizes some new material collected in 
recent years. W. Creizenach, Schauspiele der Englischen Komodianten 
(1889), and E. Herz, Englische Schauspieler und Englische s Schauspiel 
(1903), have summarized the records of the travels of English actors in 
Germany. C. W. Wallace, besides his special work on the Chapel, has 
published the records of several theatrical lawsuits in Advance Sheets 
from Shakespeare , the Globe, and Blackfriars (1909), in Nebraska University 
Studies , ix (1909). 287; x (1910), 261 ; xiii (1913), L and in The Swan 
Theatre and the Earl of Pembroke’s Servants (1911, Englische Studien, 
xliii. 340) ; the present writer has completed the information drawn from 
^.the Chamber Accounts in P. Cunningham’s Extracts from the Accounts of 
the Revels at Court (1842) by articles in M. L. R. ii (1906), 1 ; iv (1909), 153 
*(cf. App. B) ; and a number of documents, new and old, including the 
texts of all the patents issued to companies, have been carefully edited 
in vol. i of the Collections of the Malone Society (1907-11). Finally, J. T. 
^hirray, English Dramatic Companies (1910), has collected the published 
notices of performances in the provinces, added others from the municipal 
archives of Barnstaple, Bristol, Coventry, Dover, Exeter, Gloucester, 
Marlborough, Norwich, Plymouth, Shrewsbury, Southampton, Winchester, 
and York, and on the basis of these constructed valuable accounts of all 
the London and provincial companies between 1558 and 1642. Most of 
the present chapter was written before Murray’s book appeared, but it 
has been carefully revised with the aid of his new material. I have not 
thought it necessary to refer to my original provincial sources, where they 
are included in his convenient Appendix G, but in using his book it should 
be borne in mind that he has made a good many omissions in carrying 
data from this Appendix to the tables of provincial visits, which he gives 
for each company. For a few places I have had the advantage of sources 
not drawn upon by Murray, and these should be treated as the references 
for any facts as regards such places not discoverable in Murray’s Appendix. 

B 


2229*2 



2 


THE COMPANIES 


They are : — for Belvoir and other houses of the Earls of Rutland, Rutland 
MSS. (Hist. MSS.), iv. 260 ; for the house of Richard Bertie and his 
wife the Duchess of Suffolk at Gnmsthorpe, Ancaster MSS. (Htst. MSS.), 
459 ; for Wollaton, the house of Francis Willoughby, Middleton MSS. 
(Hist. MSS.), 446 ; for Maldon and Saffron Walden in Essex, A. Clark’s 
extracts in jo Notes and Queries, vii. 181, 342, 422 ; viii. 43 ; xii. 41 ; 
for Newcastle-on-Tyne, G. B. Richardson, Reprints of Rare Tracts, vol. lii, 
and jo N.Q. xii. 222 ; for Reading, Hist. MSS. xi. 177; for Oxford, 
F. S. Boas in Fortnightly Review (Aug. 1913 ; Aug. 1918 ; May 1920) ; for 
Stratford, J. O. Halliwell, Stratford-upon-Avon m the Time of the Shake- 
spear es, illustrated by Extracts from the Council-Books (1864) ; for Wey- 
mouth, H. J. Moule, Weymouth and Melcombe Regis Documents (1883), 
136 ; for Dunwich, Various Collections (Hist. MSS.), vii. 82 ; for Alde- 
burgh, Suffolk, C. C. Stopes, William Hunms, 314. References for a few 
other scattered items are in the foot-notes. The warning should be given 
that the dates assigned to some of the provincial performances are 
approximate, and may be m error within a year or so either way. For 
this there are more reasons than one. The zealous antiquaries who have 
made extracts from local records have not realized that precise dates 
might be of value, and have often named a year without indicating whether 
it represents the calendar year (Circumcision style) or the calendar year 
(Annunciation style) in which a performance fell, or the calendar year 
in winch a regnal, mayoral, or accounting year, in which the performance 
fell, began or ended. When they are clearly dealing with accounting 
years, they do not always indicate whether these ended at Michaelmas 
or at some other date. They sometimes give only the year of a per- 
formance, when they might have given, precisely or approximately, the 
month and day of the month as well. But it is fair to add that the 
accounts of City Chamberlains and similar officers, from which the notices 
of plays are generally derived, are not always so kept as to render precise 
dating feasible. Some accountants specify the days, others the weeks to 
which their entries relate ; others put their entries in chronological order 
and date some of them, so that it is possible to fix the dates of the rest 
within limits ; others again render accounts analysed under heads, grouping 
all payments to players perhaps under a head of ‘ Gifts and Rewards 
and in such cases you cannot be sure that the companies are even entered 
in the order of their visits, and if months and days are not specified, 
cannot learn more than the year to which a visit belongs. Where, for 
whatever reason, I can only assign a performance to its accounting year, 
I generally give it under the calendar year in which the account ends. 
This, in the case of a London company and of a Michaelmas year (much 
the commonest year for municipal accounts), is pretty safe, as the touring 
season was roughly July to September. Some accounting years (Coventry, 
Marlborough, Stratford-on-Avon) end later still, but if, as at Bath, the 
year ends about Midsummer, it is often quite a toss-up to which of two 
years an entry belongs. In the case of Leicester performances before 
1603, I have combined the indications of Michaelmas years in M. Bateson, 
Leicester Records, vol. lii, with those of calendar years in W. Kelly, Notices 
Illustrative of the Drama (1865), 185, and distinguished between per- 
formances before and after Michaelmas. I hope Kelly has not misled 
me, and that he found evidence in the entries for his dating. After 1603 
he is the only source. I do not think that the amount of error which 
has crept into the following chapter from the various causes described is 
likely to be at all considerable. I have been as careful as possible and 
most of Murray’s own extracting is excellently done. I should, however, 
add that the Ipswich dates, as given both here and by Murray, ii. 287. 



INTRODUCTION 


3 


from Hist. MSS. ix. i, 248, are unreliable, because some of the rolls from 
which they are taken contain membranes properly belonging to those for 
other years ; cf. my notes on Leicester’s (pp. 89, 91), Queen’s (p 106), 
Warwick's (p. 99), Derby's (p. 120), King’s (p. 209).] 

A. INTRODUCTION 

The present chapter contains detailed chronicles — too 
often, I fear, lapsing into arid annals of performances at Court 
or in the provinces — of all the companies traceable in London 
during any year between 1558 and 1616. The household and 
other establishments to which the companies were attached 
are taken as the basis of classification. This principle is open 
to criticism. Certainly it has not always the advantage of 
presenting economic units. It is improbable that there was 
any continuity as regards membership between the bodies of 
actors successively appearing, often after long intervals, 
under the names of Sussex or Hunsdon or Derby. On the 
other hand, particular associations of actors can sometimes be 
discerned as holding together under a change of patrons. 
Thus between 1571 and 1583 Laurence and John Dutton 
seem to have led a single company, which earned the nick- 
name of the Chameleons, first in the service of Sir Robert 
Lane and then, turn by turn, in that of the Earls of Lincoln, 
Warwick, and Oxford. The real successors, again, of the 
Derby’s men of 1593 are less the Derby’s men of 1595-1618 
than the Hunsdon’s men of 1594-1603, who in course of time 
became the King’s men without any breach of their unity 
as a trading association. Nevertheless, an arrangement under 
patrons is a practicable one, since companies nearly always 
appear under the names of their patrons in official documents, 
while an arrangement under trading associations is not. 
Actors are a restless folk, and the history of the Admiral’s 
men, or the Queen’s Revels, or the Lady Elizabeth’s men, 
will show how constantly their business organizations were 
disturbed by the coming and going of individuals, and by the 
breaking and reconstruction of the agreements on which 
they were based. It is but rarely that we have any clue to 
these intricacies ; and I have therefore followed the house- 
holds as the best available guides, indicating breaches of 
continuity and affiliations, where these appear to exist, and 
adopting as far as possible an order which, without pretence 
of being scientific, will bring each household under considera- 
tion roughly at the point at which its servants become of the 
greatest significance to the general history of the stage. The 
method may perhaps be described as that of a Kaixuabrj^opia. 



4 


THE COMPANIES 


A study of the succession of the companies gives rise to 
a few general considerations. During the earlier years of 
Elizabeth’s reign the drama is under the domination of the 
boy companies. This may be in part due to the long-standing 
humanistic tradition of the Renaissance, although the lead 
is in fact taken not so much by schoolboys in the stricter 
sense, as by the trained musical establishments of the royal 
chapels and still more that of the St. Paul’s choir under 
Sebastian Westcott. More important points perhaps are, 
that the Gentlemen of the Chapel, who had been prominent 
under Henry VIII, had ceased to perform, that the royal 
Interludes had been allowed to decay, and that the other 
professional companies had not yet found a permanent 
economic basis in London, while their literary accomplish- 
ment was still upon a popular rather than a courtly level. 
Whatever the cause or causes, the fact is undeniable. Out of 
seventy-eight rewards for Court performances between 1558 
and 1576, twenty-one went to the Paul’s boys, fifteen to the 
royal chapels, and ten to schoolboys, making a total of forty- 
six, as against only thirty-two paid to adult companies. 
And if the first half of this period only be taken, the dispro- 
portion is still greater, for by 1567 the Paul’s boys had received 
eleven rewards, other boys two, and the adult companies 
six. A complete reversal of this position coincides rather 
markedly with the building of the first permanent theatres 
in 1576. Between 1576 and 1583 the adult companies had 
thirty-nine rewards and the boys only seventeen. There is 
also a rapid growth in the number of companies. Before 
1576 the Earl of Leicester’s men and the Duttons were 
alone conspicuous. After 1576 the entertainment of a London 
company seems to become a regular practice with those 
great officers the Lord Chamberlain and the Lord Admiral, 
as well as with special favourites of the Queen, such as the 
Earl of Leicester himself or the Earl of Oxford. Stockwood 
in 1578 speaks of 4 eighte ordinarie places ’ in the City as 
occupied by the players. A Privy Council order of the same 
year limits the right to perform to six companies selected to 
take part in the Court festivities at Christmas, namely 
Leicester’s men, Warwick’s, Sussex’s, Essex’s, and the Children 
of the Chapel and St. Paul’s. Gabriel Harvey, writing to 
Edmund Spenser of the publication of his virelays in the 
following summer, says : 

‘ Ye have preiudished my good name for ever in thrustinge me thus 
on the stage to make tryall of my extemporall faculty, and to play 
Wylsons or Tarletons parte. I suppose thou wilt go nighe hande 
shortelye to sende my lorde of Lycesters or my lorde of Warwickes, 



INTRODUCTION 


5 


Vawsis, or my lord Ritches players, or sum other freshe starteupp 
comedanties unto me for sum newe devised interlude, or sum malt- 
conceivid comedye fitt for the Theater, or sum other paintid stage 
whereat thou and thy lively copesmates in London maye lawghe ther 
mouthes and bellyes full for pence or twoepence apeece.’ 1 

Doubtless many of this mushroom brood of ‘ freshe starteupp 
comedanties ’ never succeeded in making good their permanent 
footing in the metropolis. Lord Vaux’s men, whom Harvey 
mentions, were never fortunate enough to be summoned to 
Court ; and the same may be said of Lord Arundel’s men, 
Lord Berkeley’s, and Lord Abergavenny’s. Such men, after 
their cast for fortune, had to drift away into the provinces, 
and pad the hoof on the hard roads once more. 

The next septennial period, 1583-90, witnessed the extinc- 
tion, for a decade or so, of the boy companies, in spite of the 
new impulse given to the latter by the activity as a play- 
wright of John Lyly. Of forty-five Court payments made 
during these years, thirty apparently went to men and only 
fifteen to boys. This ultimate success of the professional 
organizations may largely have been due to their employ- 
ment of such university wits as Marlowe, Peele, Greene, 
Lodge, and Nashe in the writing of plays, with which Lyly 
could be challenged on his own ground before the Court, 
while a sufficient supply of chronicle histories and other 
popular stuff could still be kept on the boards to tickle the 
ears of the groundlings. The undisputed pre-eminence lay 
during this period with the Queen’s men, who made within 
it no less than twenty-one appearances at Court. This 
company enjoyed the prestige of the royal livery, transferred 
to it from the now defunct Interludes, which had a ready 
effect in the unloosing of municipal pockets. And at its 
foundation in 1583 it incorporated, in addition to Tarlton, 
whose origin is unknown, the leading members of the pre- 
existing companies : Wilson and Laneham from Leicester’s, 
Adams from Sussex’s, and John Dutton from Oxford’s. The 
former fellows of these lucky ones were naturally hardly able 
to maintain their standing. In January 1587 Leicester’s, 
Oxford’s, and the Admiral’s were still setting up their bills 
side by side with those of the Queen’s. 2 But the first two are 
not heard of at Court again, and even the Admiral’s were 
hardly able to make a show except by coalition with other 
companies. Thus we find the Admiral’s combining with 
Hunsdon’s in 1585, and with Strange’^ perhaps from 1589 
onwards, and it became the destiny of this last alliance, 

1 E. J. L. Scott, Letter Book of Gabriel Harvey (Camden Soc.), 67. 

2 Cf. App. D, No. lxxviii. 



6 


THE COMPANIES 


under the leadership of Edward Alleyn, to dispossess the 
Queen’s men, after the death of Tarlton in 1588, from their 
pride of place. The fall of the Queen’s men was sudden. 
In 1590-1 they gave four Court plays to two by their rivals; 
in 1591-2 they gave one, and their rivals six. In their turn 
they appear to have been reduced to forming a coalition with 
Lord Sussex’s men. 

The plague-years of 1592-4 brought disaster, chaos, and 
change into the theatrical world. Only the briefest London 
seasons were possible. The necessities of travelling led to 
further combinations and recombinations of groups, one of 
which may have given rise to the ephemeral existence of 
Lord Pembroke’s men. And, by the time the public health 
was restored, the Queen’s had reconciled themselves to a 
provincial existence, and continued until 1603 to make their 
harvest of the royal name, as their predecessors in title had 
done, without returning to London at all. The combination 
of which Alleyn had been the centre broke up, and its com- 
ponent elements reconstituted themselves as the two great 
companies of the Chamberlain’s and the Admiral’s men. 
Between these there was a vigorous rivalry, which sometimes 
showed itself in lawsuits, sometimes in the more legitimate 
form of competing plays on similar themes. Thus a popular 
sentiment offended by the Chamberlain’s men in I Henry IV 
was at once appealed to by the Admiral’s with Sir John 
Oldcastle. And when the Admiral’s scored a success by their 
representation of forest life in Robin Hood , the Chamberlain’s 
were quickly ready to counter with As You Like It. I think 
the Chamberlain’s secured the better position of the two. 
They had their Burbadge to pit against the reputation of 
Alleyn ; they had their honey-tongued Shakespeare ; and 
they had a business organization which gave them a greater 
stability of membership than any company in the hands of 
Henslowe was likely to secure. If one may once more use the 
statistics of Court performances as a criterion, they are 
found to have appeared thirty-two times and their rivals 
only twenty times from 1594 to 1603. Between them the 
Chamberlain’s and the Admiral’s enjoyed for some years 
a practical monopoly of the London stage, which received an 
official recognition by the action of the Privy Council in 1597. 
But this state of things did not long continue. Ambitious 
companies, such as Pembroke’s, disregarded the directions 
of the Council. Derby’s men, Worcester’s, Hertford’s, one 
by one obtained at least a temporary footing at Court, and in 
1602 the influence of the Earl of Oxford was strong enough 
to bring about the admission to a permanent home in London 



INTRODUCTION 


7 


of a third company made up of his own and Worcester’s 
servants. Even more dangerous, perhaps, to the monopoly 
was the revival of the boy companies, Paul’s in 1599 and the 
Chapel in 1600. The imps not only took by their novelty 
in the eyes of a younger generation of playgoers. They began 
a warfare of satire, in which they ‘ berattled the common 
stages ’ with a vigour and dexterity that betray the malice 
of the poets against the players which had been a motive 
in their rehabilitation. 1 

No material change took place at the coming of James. 
The three adult companies, the Chamberlain’s, the Admiral’s, 
Worcester’s, passed respectively under the patronage of 
James, Prince Henry, and Queen Anne. 2 On the death of 
Prince Henry in 1612 his place was taken by the Elector 
Palatine. The Children of the Chapel also received the 
patronage of Queen Anne, as Children of the Queen’s Revels. 
The competition for popular favour continued severe. Dekker 
refers to it in 1608 and the preacher Crashaw in 1610. 3 
It is to be noticed, however, that Dekker speaks only of 
‘ a deadly war ’ between ‘ three houses ’, presumably regarding 
the boy companies as negligible. And in fact these companies 
were on the wane. By 1609 the Queen’s Revels, though still in 
existence, had suffered from the wearing off of novelty, from 
the tendency of boys to grow older, from the plague-seasons 
of 1603-4 and 1608-9, which they were less well equipped 
than the better financed adults to withstand, from the 
indiscretions and quarrels of their managers, and from the 
loss of the Blackfriars, of which the King’s men had secured 
possession. 4 The Paul’s boys had been bought off by the pay- 
ment of a ‘ dead rent ’ or blackmail to the Master. A third 
company, the King’s Revels, had been started, but had failed 
to establish itself. 5 6 The three houses were not, indeed, left 

1 Cf. ch. xi. 

2 G. Dugdale, Time Triumphant (1604), sig. B, * Nay, see the beauty 
of our all kinde soveraigne 1 not onely to the indifferent of worth, and the 
worthy of honor, did he freely deale about thiese causes, but to the meane 
gave grace, as taking to him the late Lord Chamberlaines servants, now 
the Kings acters ; the Queene taking to her the Earle of Worsters servants, 
that are now her acters ; and the Prince, their sonne, Henry, Prince of 
Wales full of hope, tooke to him the Earle of Nottingham his servants, 
who are now his acters.’ 

3 Cf. ch. xvi, introd., and App. C, No. lviii. 

4 Flecknoe (App. I) perhaps exaggerates the share of moral sentiment 
in bringing to an end the formal connexion of the choirs with plays 

(cf. p. 52). 

6 De la Boderie, in 1608 (cf. vol. i, p. 327), speaks of five companies 
in London. These would be the Kind's, Queen's, Prince’s, Revels, and 
King’s Revels. 



8 


THE COMPANIES 


with an undisputed field. Advantage was taken of the 
predilection of the younger members of the royal family for 
the drama, and patents were obtained, in 1610 for a Duke 
of York’s company, and in 1611 for a Lady Elizabeth’s 
company. These also had but a frail life. In 1613 the Lady 
Elizabeth’s and the Queen’s Revels coalesced under the 
dangerous wardenship of Henslowe. In 1615 the Duke of 
York’s, now Prince Charles’s, men joined the combination. 
And finally in 1616 the Prince’s men were left alone to make 
up the tale of four London companies, and the Lady Eliza- 
beth’s and the Queen’s Revels disappeared into the pro- 
vinces. The list of men summoned before the Privy Council 
in March 1615 to account for playing in Lent contains the 
names of the leaders of the four companies, the King’s, 
the Queen’s, the Palsgrave’s, and the Prince’s. The King’s 
played at the Globe and Blackfriars, the Queen’s at the Red 
Bull, whence they moved in 1617 to the Cockpit, the Pals- 
grave’s at the Fortune, and the Prince’s at the Hope. The 
supremacy of the King’s men during 1603-16 was undisputed. 
Of two hundred and ninety- nine plays rewarded at Court for 
that period, they gave one hundred and seventy-seven, 
the Prince’s men forty-seven, the Queen’s men twenty-eight, 
the Duke of York’s men twenty, the Lady Elizabeth’s men 
nine, the Queen’s Revels boys fifteen, and the Paul’s boys 
three. Their plays, moreover, were those usually selected for 
performance before James himself. It is possible, however, 
that the Red Bull and the Fortune were better able to hold 
their own against the Globe when it came to attracting 
a popular audience. 

B. THE BOY COMPANIES 

i. Children of Paul’s. 

ii. Children of the Chapel and Queen’s Revels. 

iii. Children of Windsor. 

iv. Children of the King’s Revels. 

v. Children of Bristol. 

vi. Westminster School. 

vii. Eton College. 

viii. Merchant Taylors School. 

ix. Earl of Leicester’s Boys. 

x. Earl of Oxford’s Boys. 

xi. Mr. Stanley’s Boys. 

i. THE CHILDREN OF PAUL’S 

High Masters of Grammar School : — William Lily (1509-22) ; John 
Ritwise (1522-32) ; Richard Jones (1532-49) ; Thomas Freeman 



THE BOY COMPANIES 


9 


(1549-59) ; John Cook (i 559 ~ 73 ) ; William Malim (1573-8*) l John 
Harrison (158X-96) ; Richard Mulcaster (1596-1608). 

Masters of Choir School : — ? Thomas Hikeman (c. 1521) ; John Red- 
ford (c. 1540) ; ? Thomas Mulliner ( ? ) ; Sebastian Westcott ( > 1557- 
1582) ; Thomas Giles (1 584-1 590 < ) ; Edward Pearce ( > 1600-1606 < ). 

[Bibliographical Note . — The documents bearing upon the early history 
of the two cathedral schools, often confused, are printed and discussed 
by A F. Leach in St. Pauls School before Colet ( Archaeologia , lxii. 1. 191) 
and in Journal of Education (1909), 503. M. F. J. McDonnell, A History 
of St. Pauls School (1909), carries on the narrative of the grammar school. 
The official chroniclers of the cathedral, perhaps owing to the loss of 
archives in the Great Fire, have given no connected account of the choir 
school ; with the material available on the dramatic side they appear 
to be unfamiliar. Valuable contributions arp W. H. G. Flood, Master 
Sebastian, in Musical Antiquary, iii. 149 ; iv. 187 ; and H. N. Hillebrand, 
Sebastian Westcote, Dramatist and Master of the Children of Pauls (1915, 
J. G. P. xiv. 568). Little is added to the papers on Plays Acted by the 
Children of Pauls and Music in St. Pauls Cathedral in W. S. Simpson, 
Gleanings from Old St. Pauls (1889), 101, 155, by J. S. Bumpus, The 
Organists and Composers of St. Pauls Cathedral (1891), and W. M. Sinclair, 
Memorials of St. Pauls Cathedral (1909).] 

Mr. Leach has succeeded in tracing the grammar school, 
as part of the establishment of St. Paul’s Cathedral, to the 
beginning of the twelfth century. It was then located in 
the south-east corner of the churchyard, near the bell-tower, 
and here it remained to 1512, when it was rebuilt, endowed, 
and reorganized on humanist lines by Dean Colet, and there- 
after to 1876, when it was transferred to Horsham in Sussex. 
Originally the master was one of the canons ; but by the 
beginning of the thirteenth century this officer had taken on 
the name of chancellor, and the general supervision of the 
actual schoolmaster, a vicar choral, was only one of his 
functions. Distinct from the grammar school was the choir 
school, for which the responsible dignitary was not the 
chancellor, but the precentor, in whose hands the appoint- 
ment of a master of the song school rested. 1 There was, 
however, a third branch of the cathedral organization also 
concerned with the training of boys. The almonry or hospital, 
maintained by the chapter for the relief of the poor, seems 
to have been established at the end of the twelfth century, 

1 Archaeologia, lxii. 1. 216, from statutes collected in the decanate of 
Ralph of Baldock (1294-1304), ‘ Cantoris officium est . . . pueros introducen- 
d^ in chorum et ad cantum intitulatos examinare . . . Magistrum Scolae 
Cantus in ecclesia Sancti Gregorii, salva Decano et Capitulo ipsius colla- 
cione, preficere ’ ; Dugdale, St. Pauls (1818), 347, from fifteenth- or early 
sixteenth-century manuscript of statutes, ‘ Magistrum Scholae Cantus 
constituit Cantor. Ad eum pertinet eos qui canere nequeunt instruere, 
pueros diligenter docere, eis non solum magistrum Cantus, sed etiam 
bonorum morum esse.' 



10 


THE COMPANIES 


and statutes of about the same date make it the duty of 
a canon residentiary to assist in the maintenance of its 
pueri elemosinarii , and prescribe the special services to be 
rendered them at their great annual ceremony of the Boy 
Bishop on Innocents’ Day. 1 In the thirteenth century the 
supervision of these boys was in the hands of another sub- 
ordinate official, appointed by the chapter and known as 
the almoner. The number of the boys was then eight ; it 
was afterwards increased, apparently in 1358, to ten. 2 The 
almoner is required to provide for their literary and moral 
education, and their liturgical duties are defined as consisting 
of standing in pairs at the corners of the choir and carrying 
candles. 3 A later version of the statutes provides for their 
musical education, and it is clear that these pueri elemosinarii 
were in fact identical with or formed the nucleus of the boys 
of the song school. 4 During the sixteenth century the posts 
of almoner and master of the song school, although technically 
distinct, were in practice held together, and the holder was 
ordinarily a member of the supplementary cathedral establish- 
ment known as the College of Minor Canons. 5 To this college 
had been appropriated the parish church of St. Gregory, on 
the south side of St. Paul’s, just west of the Chapter or 
Convocation House, and here the song school was already 

1 Archaeologia, lxii. 1. 215, from statutes collected in decanate of Ralph 
de Diceto (1181-99), * Cotidie pascat . . . duos pucros elemosinarios . . . et 
secum ad Ecclesiam media nocte panem et cervisiam pro iumoribus chorum 
frequentantibus defer [r]i faciat,etquolibet quarteriosemel vel bis post matu- 
tinas iunioribus gentaculum unum in domo sua faciat \ A thirteenth- 
century statute required the pueri de elemosmaria to sit humbly upon the 
ground when feeding in the house of a canon. Cf. Mediaeval Stage , i. 355, 
for Diceto’s statute about the Boy Bishop, with its mention of the return 
of the boys ' ad Elemosinariam \ and the reforming statute of 1263. 

2 Archaeologia, lxii. 1. 220. 

3 Ibid. 217, 220 (c. 1263 ; c. 1310) ‘ Elemosinanus . . . habeat insuper 
continuo secum octo pueros ad Ecclesiae ministerium ydoneos, quos 
per seipsum vel alium magistrum in spectantibus ad ministerium ecclesiae 
et litteratura ac bonis moribus diligenter faciat informari . . . Quociens 
vero dicti pueri ad scolas vel spaciatum ire debent . . . ’ ; Dugdale, 
349 [Elemosinarius] ‘ octo pueros bonae indolis et honestae parentelae 
habeat ; quos alat et educat in morum disciplina ; videat etiam in- 
struantur in cantu et literatura, ut in omnibus apti ad ministerium Dei in 
Choro esse possent \ 

4 There was a bequest to the almoner to maintain boys, apparently at 

the University, after they had changed their voices, as early as 1^15 
(Archaeologia, lxii. 1. 219-22). m 

5 Hennessy, 61 ; W. S. Simpson, Charter and Statutes of the College of 
Minor Canons in St. Pauls Cathedral (Archaeologia, xliii. 165 ; cf. Trans, 
of London and Midd. Arch. Soc. (1st series), iv. 231). The statutes of 
c. 1521 note a dispensation of that year for Thomas Hikeman ‘ peticanon 
and amner ’ and for ‘ all and euery peticanon which shalbe Amneur hear- 
after ’ to bring a stranger to meals. 



THE BOY COMPANIES 


n 


housed by the twelfth century. 1 The college had also a 
common hall on the north of the cathedral, near the Pardon 
churchyard ; and hard by was the almonry in Paternoster 
Row. 2 The statutes left the almoner the option of either 
giving the boys their literary education himself, or sending 
them elsewhere. It naturally proved convenient to send them 
to the grammar school, and the almoners claimed that they 
had a right to admission without fees. 3 On the other side 
we find the grammar school boys directed by Colet to attend 
the Boy Bishop ceremony and make their offerings. 4 
Evidently there was much give and take between song school 
and grammar school. 

As early as 1378 the scholars of Paul’s are said to have 
prepared a play of the History of the Old Testament for public 
representation at Christmas. 5 Whether they took a share 
in the other miracles recorded in mediaeval London, it is 
impossible to say. A century and a half later the boys of 
the grammar school, during the mastership of John Ritwise, 
are found contributing interludes, in the humanist fashion, 
to the entertainment of the Court. On 10 November 1527 
they gave an anti-Lutheran play in Latin and French before 
the King and the ambassadors of Francis I, and in the following 
year the Phormio before Wolsey, who also saw them, if 
Anthony Wood can be trusted, in a Dido written by Ritwise 

1 Stowe, Survey, ii. 19 , cf the Hollar engraving in Baker, 95. 

2 Stowe, 1. 327 , Archaeologia, xlin 171. By c. 14 of the statutes 
the college gates were shut at meals. 

Leach, Journal of Education (1909), 506, cites the Eegistrum Elemo- 
sinanae (ed. M. Hacket from Harl. MS. 1080), ‘ If the almoner does not 
keep a clerk to teach the choristers grammar, the schoolmaster of St. Paul’s 
claims 5s. a year for teaching them, though he ought to demand nothing 
for them, because he keeps the school for them, as the Treasurer of 
St. Paul’s once alleged before the Dean and Chapter is to be found 
in ancient deeds ’. Mr. Leach adds, ‘ It is to be feared the Treasurer 
invented or misrepresented the ancient deed William de Tolles- 
hunt, almoner, appears from his will oi 1329 in the same register 
to have taught his boys himself (Archaeologia, lxii. 1. 220), ‘ Item 
lego puens ecclesiae quos ego educavi senioribus in Elemosinaria 
existentibus cuilibet xij d et iunioribus cuilibet vj d ’. He also left his 
grammar books * et omnes quaternos sermonum de Festo Sanctorum 
Innocencium, quos tempore meo solebant Episcopi Puerorum pronuntiare, 
ad remanendum in Elemosinaria praedicta imperpetuum, a 4 usum fructum 
puerorum in eadem degencium ’. His logic and physic books are to be 
lent out ‘ puens aptis ad scolatizandum, cum ab elemosinaria recesserint *. 

4 Mediaeval Stage , i. 356 The sermon written by Erasmus is headed 
Concio . . . pronunciata . . . m nova schola Iohanms Coleti, but Erasmus 
may not have known the exact procedure at St. Paul's. The earlier 
sermon printed by Wynkyn de Worde has ' whyche often times I radde 
whan I was Querester, in the Marteloge of Poulis \ 

5 Mediaeval Stage , ii. 380. 



12 


THE COMPANIES 


himself. 1 There is no evidence that Ritwise’s successors 
followed his example by bringing their pupils to Court ; and 
the next performances by Paul’s boys, which can be definitely 
traced, began a quarter of a century later, and were under 
the control of Sebastian Westcott, master of the song school, 
and were therefore presumably given by boys of that school. 
Westcott in 1545 was a Yeoman of the Chamber at Court. 2 
He was 4 scolemaister of Powles ’ by New Year’s Day 1557, 
when he presented a manuscript book of ditties to Queen 
Mary. 3 Five years earlier, he had brought children to 
Hatfield, to give a play before the Princess Elizabeth ; and 
the chances are that these were the Paul’s boys. 4 With him 
came one Heywood, who may fairly be identified with John 
Heywood the dramatist ; and this enables us, more conjec- 
turally, to reduce a little further the gap in the dramatic 
history of the Paul’s choir, for some years before, in March 
1538, Heywood had already received a reward for playing 
an interlude with 4 his children ’ before the Lady Mary. 5 
There is nothing beyond this phrase to suggest that Heywood 
had a company of his own, and it is not probable that he was 
ever himself master of the choir school. 6 But he may very 

1 Mediaeval Stage , ii. 196, 215, 219. Wallace, i. 88, points out that the 
performers of the Menaechmi before Wolsey in 1527 were not the Paul's 
boys, but the Cardinal's gentlemen. 

2 Chamber Accounts (1545). 

3 Nichols, Eliz. i. xxxv, ‘ By Sebastian, scolemaister of Powles, a boke 
of ditties, written 

4 Household Accounts of Princess Elizabeth, 1551-2 (Camden Misc. ii), 37, 
* Paid in rewarde to the Kinges Maiesties drommer and phipher, the 
xiij th of Februarye, xx 8 ; M r . Heywoodde, xxx 8 ; and to Sebastian, towardes 
the charge of the children with the carriage of the plaiers garmentes 
iiij 11 , xix 8 . In thole as by warraunte appereth, vij 11 , ix 8 

5 F. Madden, Expenses of Lady Mary, 62 (March 1538), ‘ Item geuen to 
Heywood play eng an enterlude with his children bifore my lades grace, xl 8 '. 

6 Wallace, i. 77, goes against the evidence when he asserts that Hey- 
wood wrote for the Chapel. Why he asserts that Heywood * had grown 
up in the Chapel under Cornish ’, to whom, by the way, he wantonly 
transfers the authorship of The Four P. P., The Pardoner and the Frere, 
and Johan Johan, I do not know. There is nothing to show that 
Heywood was a Chapel boy, and the absence of his name from the 
Chapel list of 1509 (cf. p. 27), when he would have been about twelve, 
may be taken as disposing of the notion. He is first discoverable at 
Court in December 1514, for which month he received wages at the rate 
of viij d a day in some undefined capacity (Chamber Account in Addl. MS. 
21481, f. 178), which was shared by one John Mason, who was a Yeoman 
of the Crown by March 1516 (Brewer, ii. 475). By 1520 Heywood himself 
was a Yeoman of the Crown (Brewer, iii. 1. 499), and during 15 19-21 the 
Chamber Accounts show him as also a ‘ singer * at £$ a quarter. Later 
he became player of the virginals, and has 505. a quarter as such in the 
Accounts for 1 529-31, 1538-41, and 1 547-9. He was Sewer of the Chamber 
at the funeral of Edward in 1553. It occurs to me as just possible that 
Hey wood's ‘ children ' may have been neither the Chapel nor the Paul's 



THE BOY COMPANIES 13 

well have supplied them with plays, both in Westcott’s time 
and also in that of his predecessor John Redford. Several 
of Heywood’s verses are preserved in a manuscript, which also 
contains Redford’s Wyt and Science and fragments of other 
interludes, not improbably intended for performance by the 
boys under his charge. 1 A play ‘ of childerne sett owte by 
Mr. Haywood * at Court during the spring of 1553 may also 
belong to the Paul’s boys. 2 Certain performances ascribed to 
them at Hatfield, during the Princess Elizabeth’s residence 
there in her sister’s reign, have of late fallen under suspicion 
of being apocryphal. 3 

From the beginning of Elizabeth’s reign Westcott’s 
theatrical enterprise stands out clearly enough. On 7 August 
1559 the Queen was entertained by the Earl of Arundel at 
Nonsuch with ‘ a play of the chylderyn of Powlles and ther 
Master Se[bastian], Master Phelypes, and Master Haywod ’. 4 
If ‘ Master Phelypes ’ was the John Philip or Phillips who 
wrote Patient Grissell (c. 1566), this play may also belong 

boys, but the boys taken up by Philip Van Wilder for the musical estab- 
lishment of the Household; cf. p. 31. But I think it is more likely 
that Heywood wrote for the Paul's boys throughout, as he almost certainly 
did in 1559. There is another hint of his connexion with them in the 
fact that at the coronation of Mary in 1553 he sat under a vine against the 
grammar school and made speeches (Holmshed (1808), iv. 6). A. W. Reed 
(1917. 3 Library, viii. 247) adds facts, and thinks the Yeoman was distinct. 

1 Addl. MS. 15233; cf. Mediaeval Stage, 11. 454. Thomas Tusser, in 
the Autobiography printed with the 1573 edition of his Points of Good 
Husbandry, is the authority for placing Redford at Paul's : 

But mark the chance, myself to 'vance, 

By friendship’s lot, to Paul's I got. 

So found I grace a certain space 
Still to remain 

With Redford there, the like nowhere 
For cunning such and virtue much 
By whom some part of musicke art 
So did I gain. 

From Paul's Tusser passed to Eton, before he matriculated at Cambridge 
in 1543. In other manuscripts compositions by Redford and Thomas 
Mulliner are associated, and one of these, Addl. MS. 30513, is inscribed 
‘ Sum liber Thomae Mullinen, Johanne Heywoode teste '. Stafford Smith, 
on what authority is unknown, stated (cf. D. N. B.) that Mullmer was 
Master of St. Paul’s School. If so, he may have come between Redford 
and Westcott. On 3 March 1564 he was admitted as organist in Corpus 
Christi College, Oxford (Fowler, Hist, of C.C.C. 426). 

* Feuillerat, E. and M. 145 ; Wallace, i. 84. The mention of * xij cottes 
for the boyes in Heywood es play ’ does not justify the assumption that 
the players were the Chapel. The ten established boys of the St. Paul’s 
choir could be supplemented by probationers or the grammar school. 

3 Mediaeval Stage, ii. 196. 

4 Machyn, 206. ‘M r Philip’ was organist of Paul’s in 1557 (Nichols, 
Illustrations , iii) Fleay, 57, guesses that the play was Nice Wanton , 
which is not likely, if Heywood had a hand in it. 



14 


THE COMPANIES 


to the Paul’s repertory. Heywood could not adapt himself 
again to a Protestant England, and soon left the country. 
Sebastian Westcott was more fortunate. In 1560 he was 
appointed as Head of the College of Minor Canons or Subdean. 1 
Shortly afterwards, being unable to accept the religious 
settlement, he was sentenced to deprivation of his offices, 
which included that of organist, but escaped through the 
personal influence of Elizabeth, in spite of some searchings 
of the heart of Bishop Grindal as to his suitability to be 
an instructor of youth. 2 In fact he succeeded in remaining 
songmaster of Paul’s for the next twenty-three years, and 
during that period brought his boys to Court no less than 
twenty-seven times, furnishing a far larger share of the 
royal Christmas entertainment, especially during the first 
decade of the reign, than any other single company. The 
chronicle of his plays must now be given. There was one at 
each of the Christmases of 1560-1 and 1561-2, one between 
6 January and 9 March 1562, and one at the Christmas of 
1562-3. 3 During the next winter the plague stopped London 
plays. At the Christmas of 1564-5 there were two by the 
Paul’s boys, of which the second fell on 2 January, and at that 
of 1565-6 three, two at Court and one at the Lady Cecilia’s 
lodging in the Savoy. There were two again at each of the 
Christmases of 1566-7 and 1567-8, and one on 1 January 
1569. During the winter of 1569-70 the company was, 
exceptionally, absent from Court. They reappeared on 
28 December 1570, and again at Shrovetide (25-7 February) 
1571. On 28 December 1571 they gave the ‘ tragedy ’ of 
Iphigenia, which Professor Wallace identifies with the comedy 
called The Bugbears , but which might, for the matter of that, 
be Lady Lumley’s translation from the Greek of Euripides. 
At the Christmas of 1572-3 they played before 7 January. 

1 Hennessy, 61. 

2 Flood cites a Vatican record of 1561 from Catholic Record Soc. i. 21, 
‘ Sebastianus, qui organa pulsabat apud D. Paulum Londini, cum vellet 
eiici, tamen turn ita charus Elizabethae fuit, ut nihil schismatice agens 
locum suum in ea ecclesia letineat ’ ; also Grindal’s letter of 1563 to 
Dudley in Strype, Grindal (ed. 1821), 113. Hillebrand adds from Libn 
Vicarh Generahs {Hutch 1561-74), iii, f. 77, that in July 1563 Westcott 
failed to appear before the Consistory Court and was excommunicated as 
‘ contumacem \ and from St. Paul's records (A. Box 77, 2059) that on 
8 Nov. 1564 he gave a bond to conform or resign by the following Easter. 
Gee, 230, gives a list of deprived clergy from N. Sanders, De Visibili 
Monarchia (1571), 688, which includes among Magistn Musices * Sebas- 
tianus in Cathedrali ecclesia Londinensi '. 

8 Fleay, 15, 60, has some inaccuracies in these dates, and conjectures 
that among the early Paul’s plays were a revival of Udall's Ralph Roister- 
Doister and Ulpian Fulwell’s Like Will to Like , and that these contained 
satire of Richard Edwards and the Chapel. 



THE BOY COMPANIES 


15 


On 27 December 1573 they gave Alcmaeon. They played 
on 2 February 1575, and a misfortune which befell them in the 
same year is recorded in a letter of 3 December from the Privy 
Council, which sets out that * one of Sebastianes boyes, being 
one of his principall plaiers, is lately stolen and conveyed 
from him and instructs no less personages than the Master 
of the Rolls and Dr. Wilson, one of the Masters of Requests, 
to examine the persons whom he suspected and proceed 
according to law with them. 1 Five days later the Court of 
Aldermen drew up a protest against Westcott’s continued 
Romish tendencies. 2 The next Court performance by the boys 
was on 6 January 1576. On 1 January 1577 they gave Error , 
and on 19 February Titus and Gisippus. They played on 
29 December 1577, and one wonders whether it was anything 
amiss with that performance which led to an entry in the 
Acts of the Privy Council for the same day that 4 Sebastian 
was committid to the Marshalsea \ 3 Whether this was so 
or not, the Paul’s boys were included in the list of companies 
authorized to practise publicly in the City for the following 
Christmas. On 1 January 1579 they gave The Marriage of 
Mind and Measure , on 3 January 1580 Scipio Africanus , 
and on 6 January 1581 Pompey. A play on 26 December 
1581 is anonymous, but may possibly be the Cupid and Psyche 
mentioned as ‘ plaid at Paules ’ in Gosson’s Playes Confuted 
of 1582. 4 

In the course of 1582 Sebastian Westcott died, and this 
event led to an important development in the dramatic 
activities of the boys. 5 Hitherto their performances, when not 

1 Dasent, ix. 56. 

2 Hillebrand from Repertory , xix, f. 18, ‘ For asmoche as this Court ys 
enformed that one Sebastian that wyll not communicate with the Church 
of England kepe the playes and resorte of the people to great gaine and 
peryll of the coruptinge of the Chyldren wyth papistrie And therefore 
master Morten ys appoynted to goe to the Deane of Powles and to gyve 
him notyce of that dysorder, and to praye him to gyve suche remeadye 
therein, within his iurysdyccion, as he shall see meete, for Christian 
Relygion and good order \ 

3 Dasent, x. 127. Cath. Record Soc. i. 70 gives the date of Westcott's 
committal ‘ for papistry * from 5 . P. D. Eliz. cxl. 40, as 21 Dec. 1577, 
and that of release as 19 March 1578. According to 5 . P. D. Eliz. cxviii. 73, 
Westcott was Master of the Children in 1577 and valued at £100 in goods. 

4 Gosson, P. C. 188. 

6 Flood (Mus. Ant . iv. 187) gives an abstract of his will, dated on 
3 April and proved on 14 April 1582. He describes himself as almoner 
of St. Paul's, dwelling in the almonry and born at Chimley in Devonshire ; 
appoints Henry Evans overseer and Justinian Kyd executor, and leaves 
legacies to relatives (apparently he had no children or wife), to members 
of the Redford family, to 4 Gyles Clothier ’, to the ten choristers, to ‘ some- 
times children of the said almenerey ’, by name Bromeham, Richard Huse, 



16 THE COMPANIES 

at Court, had been in their own quarters ‘ at Paules *, although 
the notice of 1578, as well as Gosson’s reference, suggests 
that the public were not altogether excluded from their 
rehearsals. Probably they used their singing school, which 
may have been still, as in the twelfth century, the church of 
St. Gregory itself. 1 This privacy, even if something of a con- 
vention, had perhaps enabled them to utilize the services of 
the grammar school when they had occasion to make a display 
of erudition. 2 After Westcott’s death, however, they appear 
to have followed the example of the Chapel, who had already 

Robert Knight, Nicholas Carleton, Baylye, Nasion, and Gregory Bowringe, 
to ‘ Shepard that keepeth the door at playes ’, and to Pole * the keper 
of the gate '. Wallace, i. 171, cites the will from P. C. C. 14 and 31, 
Tirwhite, giving the date of confirmation as 3 July 1582. One name may 
be added to Westcott’s list of boys from a Court Minute of Christ’s Hospital 
on 5 March 1580 (Musical Times, 1 Jan. 1907), ‘ M r . Sebastian, of Paulis, 
is appointed to have Hallawaie the younger out of this House to be one 
of the singing children of the Cathedral Church of Paulis in this Citie \ 

1 Gosson (1582) speaks of the plays as ‘ at Paules ’ ; and Rawlidge 
(1628) mentions a house * nigh Pauls ’ as one of those pulled down by the 
City, apparently in 1596 (cf. ch. xvi). The Paul’s boys, however, can 
hardly have been playing for some years before that date. Howes (1629) 
definitely specifies the singing school (cf. ch. xvi). On the other hand, 
Flecknoe, a late authority and in a passage dealing (inaccurately) with 
Jacobean rather than Elizabethan conditions, assigns the plays to ' behinde 
the Convocation-house in Paul’s ’ (App. I). This is expanded by Malone 
(Variorum, iii. 46) into * in S*. Paul’s school-room, behind the Convocation- 
house ’, and Baker, 45, suggests that they used a small yard or cloister 
before the doors of the Convocation House and shut off by a high wall 
from the main churchyard (cf. Hollar’s prints in Baker, 95, 1 1 5) . But 
I doubt if Flecknoe had anything in mind except St. Gregory’s, which 
stood just west of the Convocation House. The hall of the College of 
Minor Canons is perhaps also a possibility ; but neither this nor the 
church is likely to have afforded a circular auditorium (cf. ch. xviii). 
Can they have used the Convocation House itself ? 

2 McDonnell, 27, argues for the participation of the grammar school in 
the plays. Obviously the phrase ‘ children of Paul’s ’, ordinarily used of 
the playing-boys, proves nothing one way or the other. That the plays 
were mainly an affair of the choir is a fair inference from the fact that 
they were presented at Court by the song-school masters. But there is 
no reason to doubt that the mediaeval give and take between the two 
schools continued through the sixteenth century. Hunter, Chorus Vatum, 
v. 542, quotes a manuscript life of Sir Thomas Offley, ‘ This Thomas Offley 
became a good gramma: ian under Mr. [William] Lillie and understood the 
Latin tongue perfectly ; and because he had a sweet voice he was put 
to learn prick-song among the choristers of St. Paul’s, for that learned 
Mr. Lillie knew full well that knowledge in music was a help and a further- 
ance to all arts *. On the other hand, Dean Nowell (Churton, Life of 
A. Nowell, 190) instructed Thomas Giles .in 1584 to teach the choristers 
catechism, writing, and music, and then to ‘ suffer them to resort to 
Paul's School that they may learn the principles of Grammar Some 
seventeenth-century performances by the grammar school, after the regular 
Paul’s plays ceased, are upon record. 



THE BOY COMPANIES 


*7 


in 1576 taken a step in the direction of professionalism, by 
transferring their performances to Farrant’s newly opened 
theatre at the Blackfriars. Here, if the rather difficult 
evidence can be trusted, the Paul’s boys appear to have 
joined them, and to have formed part of a composite com- 
pany, to which Lord Oxford’s boys also contributed, and 
which produced the Campaspe and Sapho and Phao of the 
earl’s follower John Lyly. Lyly took these plays to Court 
on 1 January and 3 March 1584, and Henry Evans, who 
was also associated with the enterprise, took a play called 
Agamemnon and Ulysses on 27 December. On all three 
occasions the official patron of the company was the Earl of 
Oxford. In Agamemnon and Ulysses it must be doubtful 
whether the Paul’s boys had any share, for in the spring of 
1584 the Blackfriars theatre ceased to be available, and the 
combination probably broke up. 1 This, however, was far 
from being the end of Lyly’s connexion with the boys, for the 
title-pages of no less than five of his later plays acknowledge 
them as the presenters. They had, indeed, a four years* 
period of renewed activity at Court, under the mastership of 
Thomas Giles, who, being already almoner, became Master 
of the Song School on 22 May 1584, and in the following 
year received a royal commission to 4 take up ’ boys for the 
choir, analogous to that ordinarily granted to masters of the 
Chapel Children. 2 There is no specific mention of plays in 

1 Cf. infra (Chapel, Oxford’s) ; ch. xvii (Blackfriars). 

2 R. Churton, Life of Alexander Nowell, 190, from Reg. Nowell, ii, f. 189 ; 
Nichols, Eliz. ii. 432 ; Collier, i. 258 ; Hazlitt, 33 ; Wallace, ii. 67, from 
original warrant under the Signet in Sloane MS. 2035b, f. 73 : 

4 By the Queene, 
Elizabeth. 

* Whereas we haue authorysed our servaunte Thomas Gyles M r . of the 
children of the Cathedrall Churche of S* . Pauls within our Cittie of London 
to take vpp suche apte and meete Children as are most fitt to be instructed 
and framed in the arte and science of musicke and singinge as may be 
had and founde out within anie place of this our Realme of England or 
Wales, to be by his education and bringinge vp made meete and hable 
to serve vs in that behalf when our pleasure is to call for them. Wee 
therefore by the tenour of these presentes will and require you that ye 
permitt and suffer from henceforthe our saide servaunte Thomas Gyles 
and his deputie or deputies and every of them to take vp in anye Cathedral 
or Collegiate Churche or Churches and in everye other place or places of 
this our Realme of England and Wales, suche Childe and Children as he 
or they or anye of them shall finde and like of and the same Childe and 
Children by vertue hereof for the vse and service afouresaide, with them 
or anye of them to bringe awaye, withoute anye your lettes contradiccions 
staye or interruptions to the contrarie Charginge and commaundinge you 
and everie of you to be aydinge helpinge and assisting vnto the aboue 
named Thomas Gyles and his deputie and deputies in and aboute the 
due execucion of the premisses for the more spedie effectuall & bettar 

C 


22292 



i8 THE COMPANIES 

the document, but its whole basis is in the service which 
the boys may be called upon to do the Queen in music and 
singing. Under Giles the company appeared at Court nine 
times during four winter seasons ; on 26 February 1587, 
on 1 January and 2 February 1588, on 27 December 1588, 

1 January and 12 January 1589, and on 28 December 1589, 

1 January and 6 January 1590. The title-pages of Lyly’s 
Endymion , Galathea, and Midas assign the representation of 
these plays at Court to a 2 February, a 1 January, and 
a 6 January respectively. Endymion must therefore belong 
to 1588 and Midas to 1590 ; for Galathea the most probable 
of the three years is 1588. Mother Bomhie and Love's Meta- 
morphosis can be less precisely dated, but doubtless belong 
to the period 1587-90. At some time or other, and probably 
before 1590, the Paul’s boys performed a play of Meleager , 
of which an abstract only, without author’s name, is preserved. 
It is not, I think, to be supposed that Lyly, although he hap- 
pened to be a grandson of the first High Master of Colet’s 
school, had any official connexion either with that establish- 
ment or with the choir school. It is true that Gabriel Harvey 
says of him in 1589, ‘ He hath not played the Vicemaster of 
Poules and the Foolemaster of the Theatre for naughtes 
But this is merely Harvey’s jesting on the old dramatic sense 
of the term 4 vice ’, and the probabilities are that Lyly’s 
relation as dramatist to Giles as responsible manager of the 
company was much that which had formerly existed between 
John Heywood and Sebastian Westcott. Nevertheless, it 
was this connexion which ultimately brought the Paul’s 
plays to a standstill. Lyly was one of the literary men 
employed about 1589 to answer the Martin Marprelate 
pamphleteers in their own vein, and to this end he availed 
himself of the Paul’s stage, apparently with the result that, 
when it suited the government to disavow its instruments, 
that stage was incontinently suppressed. 2 The reason may 

accomplishing thereof from tyme to tyme as you and everie of you doe 
tendar our will and pleasure and will aunswere for doinge the contrarye 
at your penlles. Youen vnder our Signet at our Manour of Grenewich 
the 26 th Day of Aprill in the 27 th yere of our reign. 

To all and singuler Deanes, Provostes, Maisters and Wardens of Collegies 
and all Ecclesiasticall persons and mynisters and to all other our officers 
mynisteis and subiectes to whome in this case it shall apperteyne and to 
everye of them greet inge.’ 

No other commission for the Paul’s choir is extant, but their rights are 
reserved in the commission for Windsor (q.v.) of 8 March 1 560. 

1 Harvey, Advertisement for Pap-Hatchet (Works, ii. 212). Lyly was 
still Oxford’s man but writing for Paul’s, c . Aug. 1585 (M. L. R. xv. 82.). 

2 Cf. ch. ix and App. C, No. xl, especially Pappe with an Hatchet 
fOct. 1589). 



THE BOY COMPANIES 


*9 


be conjectural, but the fact is undoubted. The Paul’s boys 
disappear from the Court records after 1590. In 1591 the 
printer of Endymion writes in his preface that * Since the 
Plaies in Paules were dissolved, there are certaine Commedies 
come to my handes by chaunce *, and the prolongation of this 
dissolution is witnessed to in 1596 by Thomas Nashe, who in 
his chaff of Gabriel Harvey’s anticipated practice in the 
Arches says, * Then we neede neuer wish the Playes at Powles 
vp againe, but if we were wearie with walking, and loth to 
goe too farre to seeke sport, into the Arches we might step, 
and heare him plead ; which would bee a merrier Comedie 
than euer was old Mother Bomby \ x 

A last theatrical period opened for the boys with the 
appointment about 1600 of a new master. This was one 
Edward Pearce or Piers, who had become a Gentleman of the 
Chapel on 16 March 1589, and by 15 August 1600, when his 
successor was sworn in, had ‘ yealded up his place for the 
Mastership of the children of Poules *. 2 I am tempted to 
believe that in reviving the plays Pearce had the encourage- 
ment of Richard Mulcaster, who had become High Master 
of the grammar school in 1596, and during his earlier master- 
ship of Merchant Taylors had on several occasions brought 
his boys to Court. Pearce is first found in the Treasurer of 
the Chamber’s Accounts as payee for a performance on 
1 January 1601, but several of the extant plays produced 
during this section of# the company’s career are of earlier 
date, and one of them, Marston’s 1 Antonio and Mellida , can 
hardly be later than 1599. A stage direction of this play 
apparently records the names of two of the performers 
as Cole and Norwood. 3 The Paul’s boys, therefore, were 

1 Have With You to Saffron- Walden {Works, in. 46). I do not think 

the reference to a twelvemonth’s silence, due to envy, in the prologue to 
Nashe’s Summer's Last Will and Testament (c. Oct. 1592) affords any 
justification for ascribing that play to the Paul’s boys. Murray, 1. 330 ; 
li. 284, records a payment at Gloucester in 1 590-1 ‘ to the children of 
powles ’. I am sceptical about this, especially as I observe in the next 
year a payment for a breakfast to the Queen’s men ‘ at M r . Powelles ’. 
Murray’s only other municipal record for the company, at Hedon, York- 
shire, on some quite unknown date, ‘ Item, payd to the pawll plaiers ' 

(li. 286), is even less satisfactory. But if the boys did travel on their 
suppression, they may well have gone to Croydon. 

2 Rimbault, 4. Giles must have resigned, if he was the Thomas Giles 
who, on 18 April 1606, was paid 100 marks a year as instructor to 
Henry in music (Devon, 35). He was instructor to Charles m 1613 
(Reyher, 78) and figures in masks (cf. ch. vi). Fellowes, 184, 190, has 
two songs set by Pearce, one from Blurt Master Constable. 

3 1 A. and M. iv. i. 30, ‘ Enter Andrugio, Lucio, Cole, and Norwood ’. 
Bullen thinks that the two boys played the parts named, but the action 
requires at least one page, who sings. 



THE COMPANIES 


20 

4 up again 1 before their rivals of the Chapel, who cannot be 
shown to have begun in the Blackfriars under Henry Evans 
until 1600. 1 This being so, they were probably also responsible 
for Marston’s revision in 1599 of Histriomastix , which by 
giving offence to Ben Jonson, led him to satire Marston’s 
style in Every Man Out of His Humour , and so introduced 
the * war of the theatres ’. 2 Before the end of 1600 they had 
probably added to their repertory Chapman’s Bussy d'Ambois , 
and certainly The Maid's Metamorphosis , The Wisdom of 
Dr . Dodipoll , and Jack Drum's Entertainment , all three of 
which were entered on the Stationers’ Register, and the 
first two printed, during that year. Jack Drum's Entertain- 
ment followed in 1601 and contains the following interesting 
passage of autobiography : 3 

Sir Edward Fortune. I saw the Children of Powles last night, 

And troth they pleas’d me prettie, prettie well : 

The Apes in time will doe it handsomely. 

Planet. I faith, I like the audience that frequenteth there 
With much applause : A man shall not be chokte 
With the stench of Garlick ; nor be pasted 
To the barmie Iacket of a Beer-brewer. 

Brabant Junior. ’Tis a good, gentle audience, and I hope the boies 
Will come one day into the Court of requests. 

Brabant Senior . I, and they had good Plaies. But they produce 
Such mustie fopperies of antiquitie, 

And do not sute the humorous ages backs, 

With clothes in fashion. 

The criticism, being a self-criticism, must not be taken too 
seriously. So far as published plays are concerned, Histrio- 
mastix is the only one to which it applies. In Marston, 
Chapman, and Middleton the company had enlisted vigorous 
young playwrights, who were probably not sorry to be free 
from the yoke of the professional actors, and appear to have 
followed the exceptional policy of printing some at least of 
their new plays as soon as they were produced. 

On 11 March 1601, two months after the boys made their 
first bow at Court, the Lord Mayor was ordered by the 
Privy Council to suppress plays 4 at Powles ’ during Lent, 
It is to be inferred that they were, as of old, acting in their 
singing school. Confirmation is provided by a curious note 
appended by William Percy to his manuscript volume of 

1 Wallace, ii. 153, says he has evidence of playing at Paul's in 1598, 
but he does not give it. It is perhaps rash to assume that Pearce originated 
the revival, as there is no proof that he came to Paul's before 1600. 

2 Cf. ch. xi. 3 v. i. 102. 



THE BOY COMPANIES ai 

plays, presumably in sending them to be considered with 
a view to production by the boys. The plays bear dates 
in 1601-3, but it can hardly be taken for granted that they 
were in fact produced by the Paul’s or any other company. 
The note runs : 

A note to the Master of Children of Powles. 

Memorandum, that if any of the fine and formost of these Pastorals 
and Comoedyes conteyned in this volume shall but overeach in length 
(the children not to begin before foure, after prayers, and the gates of 
Powles shutting at six) the tyme of supper, that then in tyme and 
place convenient, you do let passe some of the songs, and make the 
consort the shorter ; for I suppose these plaies be somewhat too long 
for that place. Howsoever, on your own experience, and at your best 
direction, be it. Farewell to you all. 1 

Both parts of Marston’s Antonio and Mellida were entered 
on the Stationers’ Register in the autumn of 1601 and 
printed in 1602. The second part may have been on the stage 
during 1601, and in the same year the boys probably pro- 
duced John Marston’s What You Will , and certainly played 
4 privately ’, as the Chamberlain’s men did ‘ publicly ’, 
Satiromastix in which Dekker, with a hand from Marston, 
brought his swashing blow against the redoubtable Jonson. 
This also was registered in 1601 and printed in 1602. There 
is no sign of the boys at Court in the winter of 1601-2. In 
the course of 1602 their play of Blurt Master Constable , by 
Middleton, was registered and printed. They were at Court 
on 1 January 1603, for the last time before Elizabeth, and on 
20 February 1604, for the first time before James. Either 
the choir school or the grammar school boys took part in the 
pageant speeches at the coronation triumph on 15 March 
1604. 2 To the year 1604 probably belongs Westward Ho ! 
which introduced to the company, in collaboration with 
Dekker, a new writer, John Webster. Northward Ho ! by 
the same authors, followed in 1605. The company was not 
at Court for the winter of 1604-5, but during that of 1605-6 
they gave two plays before the Princes Henry and Charles. 
For these the payee was not Pearce, but Edward Kirkham, who 
is described in the Treasurer of the Chamber’s account as 
4 one of the Mr e9 of the Childeren of Pawles ’. Kirkham, who 
was Yeoman of the Revels, had until recently been a manager 
of the Children of the Revels at the Blackfriars. It may 

1 Collier, iii. 181. On the light thrown on the Paul's stage by these 
plays, cf. ch. xxi. It is conceivable that some of them may have been 
originally written before 1590 (cf. ch. xxiii, s.v. Percy). 

2 Cf. ch. xxiv. 



22 


THE COMPANIES 


have been the disgrace brought upon these by Eastward Ho ! 
in the course of 1605 that led him to transfer his activities 
elsewhere. 1 With him he seems to have brought Marston’s 
The Fawn , probably written in 1604 and ascribed in the 
first of the two editions of 1606 to the Queen’s Revels alone, 
in the second to them ‘ and since at Poules The charms of 
partnership with Kirkham were not, however, sufficient to 
induce Pearce to continue his enterprise. The last traceable 
appearance of the Paul’s boys was on 30 July 1606, when they 
gave The Abuses before James and King Christian of Denmark. 2 
Probably the plays were discontinued not long afterwards. 
This would account for the large number of playbooks 
belonging to the company which reached the hands of the 
publishers in 1607 and 1608. The earlier policy of giving 
plays to the press immediately after production does not seem 
to have endured beyond 1602. Those now printed, in 
addition to Bussy D'Ambois , What You Will , Westward Ho ! 
and Northward Ho ! already mentioned, included Middleton’s 
Michaelmas Term , The Phoenix , A Mad World , my Masters , 
and A Trick to Catch the Old One , together with The Puritan , 
very likely also by Middleton, and The Woman Hater , the 
first work of Francis Beaumont. The Puritan can be dated, 
from a chronological allusion, in 1606. The title-pages of 
The Woman Hater , A Mad World, my Masters, and A Trick 
to Catch the Old One specify them to have been 1 lately * 
acted. It is apparent from the second quarto of A Trick 
to Catch the Old One that the Children of the Blackfriars took 
it over and presented it at Court on 1 January 1609. This 
was probably part of a bargain as to which we have another 
record. Pearce may have had at the back of his mind 
a notion of reopening his theatre some day. But it is given 
in evidence in the lawsuit of Keysar v. Burbadge in 1610 that, 
while it was still closed, he was approached on behalf of the 
other 1 private ’ houses in London, those of the Blackfriars 
and the Whitefriars, and offered a ‘ dead rent ’ of £20 a year, 

1 that there might be a cessation of playeinge and playes 
to be acted in the said howse neere S*. Paules Church \ 8 
This must have been in the winter of 1608-9, just as the 

1 Cf. infra (Queen’s Revels). 

2 Nichols, James, iv. 1073, from The King of Denmark's Welcome (1606), 
4 the Youthes of Paules, commonlye cald the Children of Paules, plaide before 
the two Kings, a playe called Abuses : containing both a Comedie and a 
Tragedie, at which the Kinges seemed to take delight and be much pleased \ 
The play is lost. Fleay, ii. 80, has no justification for identifying it with The 
Insatiate Countess . Wily Beguiled (ch. xxiv) might be a Paul’s play. 

8 C. W. Wallace, Nebraska University Studies (1910), x. 355 ; cf. infra 
(Queen's Revels), ch. xvii (Blackfriars). 



THE BOY- COMPANIES 


23 


Revels company was migrating from the Blackfriars to the 
Whitefriars. The agent was Philip Rosseter who y with 
Robert Keysar, was financially interested in the Revels com- 
pany. When the King’s men began to occupy the Blackfriars 
in the autumn of 1609, they took on responsibility for half 
the dead rent, but whether the arrangement survived the 
lawsuit of 1610 is unknown. 


ii. THE CHILDREN OF THE CHAPEL AND OF THE QUEEN’S 

REVELS 

The Children of the Chapel (1501-1603). 

Masters of the Children : William Newark (1493-1509), William 
Cornish (1509-23), William Crane (1523-45), Richard Bower (1545- 
61), Richard Edwardes (1561-6), William Hunnis (1566-97), Richard 
Farrant (acting, 1577-80), Nathaniel Giles (1597-1634). 

The Children of the Queen’s Revels (1603-5). 

The Children of the Revels (1605-6). 

Masters : Henry Evans, Edward Kirkham, and others. 

The Children oi the Blackfriars (1606-9). 

The Children of the Whitefriars (1609-10). 

Masters : Robert Keysar and others. 

The Children of the Queen’s Revels (16 10-16). 

Masters : Philip Rosseter and others. 

[ Bibliographical Note. — Official records of the Chapel are to be found 
111 E. F. Rimbault, The Old Cheque Book of the Chapel Royal (187 2, 
Camden Soc.). Most of the material for the sixteenth-century part of the 
present section was collected before the publication of C. W. Wallace, 
The Evolution of the English Drama up to Shakespeare (1912, cited as 
Wallace, 1), which has, however, been valuable for purposes of revision. 
J. M. Manly, The Children of the Chapel Royal and their Masters (1910, 
C. H. vi. 279), W. H. Flood, Queen Mary's Chapel Royal (E. H.R. xxxiii. 
83), H M. Hildebrand, The Early History of the Chapel Royal (1920, M.P . 
xvin. 233), are useful contributions. The chief published sources for the 
seventeenth century are three lawsuits discovered by J. Greenstreet and 
printed in full by F. G. Fleay, A Chronicle History of the London Stage 
(1890), 127, 210, 223. These are (a) Clifton v. Robinson and Others (Star 
Chamber, 1601), (b) Evans v. Kirkham (Chancery, May-June 1612), cited 
as E. v. K., with Fleay’s pages, and (c) Kirkham v . Pamton and Others 
(Chancery, July-Nov. 1612), cited as K. v. P. Not much beyond dubious 
hypothesis is added by C. W. Wallace, The Children of the Chapel at 
Blackfriars (1908, cited as Wallace, ii). But Professor Wallace published 
an additional suit of importance, (d) Keysar v. Burbadge and Others (Court 
of Requests, Feb.-June 1610), in Nebraska University Studies (1910), 
x. 336, cited a s K. v. B. This is apparently one of twelve suits other than 
Greenstreet’s, which he claims (ii. 36) to have found, with other material, 
which may alter the story. In the meantime, I see no reason to depart 
from the main outlines sketched in my article on Court Performances 
under James the First (1909, M. L. R. iv. 153).] 



24 


THE COMPANIES 


The Chapel was an ancient part of the establishment of the 
Household, traceable far back into the twelfth century. 1 
Up to the end of the fourteenth, we hear only of chaplains and 
clerks. These were respectively priests and laymen, and the 
principal chaplain came to bear the title of Dean. 2 Children 
of the Chapel first appear under Henry IV, who appointed 
a chaplain to act as Master of Grammar for them in 1401. 3 
In 1420 comes the first of a series of royal commissions 
authorizing the impressment of boys for the Chapel service, 
and in 1444 the first appointment of a Master of the Children, 
John Plummer, by patent. 4 It is probably to the known 
tastes of Henry VI that the high level of musical accomplish- 
ment, which had been reached by the singers of the Chapel 
during the next reign was due. 5 The status and duties of the 
Chapel are set out with full detail in the Liber Niger about 
1478, at which date the establishment consisted of a Dean, 
six Chaplains, twenty Clerks, two Yeomen or Epistolers, and 
eight Children. These were instructed by a Master of Song, 
chosen by the Dean from ‘ the seyd felyshipp of Chapell ’, 
and a Master of Grammar, whose services were also available 
for the royal Henchmen. 6 * 8 There is no further record of the 
Master of Grammar ; but with this exception the establish- 
ment continued to exist on much the same footing, apart from 

1 Constitutio Domus Regis (c. 1135) in Hearne, Liber Niger Scaccarii , 
i. 342, ‘ Capellani, custos capellae et reliquiarum. Corridium duorum 
hominum, et quatuor servientes capellae unusquisque duplicem cibum, et 
duo summarii capellae unusquisque i d in die et i d ad ferrandum in mense * ; 
cf. R. O. Ld. Steward’s Misc. 298 (1279) ; Tout, 278, 31 1 (1318) ; H. O. 
3, 10 (1344-8) ; Life Records of Chaucer (Chaucer Soc.), iv. 171 (1369) ; 
Nicolas, P. C. vi. 223 (1454). 

2 H. O. 10. In 1318 he was 1 chief chapellain \ 

8 J. H. Wylie, Henry IV, iv. 208, from Household Accounts, ‘ John 
Bugby our chaplain retained 3 years ago pur apprendre et enformer les 
enfants de notre chapelle en la science de gramaire at 100/- p. a. nothing 
yet paid, £15 due \ A grant to John Tilbery, a boy of the King's chapel, 
was made on 12 Nov. 1405 (C. P. R. t Hen . IV, iii. 96). 

4 Wallace, i. 12, 21, from P. R. The commission of 1420 was to John 

Py amour ‘ uni clericorum Capellae hospicii nostn ’ ; another of 1440 was 

to John Croucher, Dean. When regular Masters were instituted, the 

commissions seem to have been made direct to them. 

8 WaUace, i. 14, quotes laudatory accounts of the singing of the chapel 
by two members of the suite of Leo von Ro 2 mital, a Bohemian who 
visited the English Court in 1466. 

4 H. O, 49. There is nothing about plays, but ‘ Memorandum, that the 
King hathe a songe before hym m his hall or chambre uppon AU-hallowen 
day at the latter graces, by some of these clerkes and children of chappel 
in remembrance of Christmasse ; and soe of men and children in Christ- 
masse thorowoute. But after the songe on AU-hallowen day is done, the 
Steward and Thesaurere of houshold shall be warned where it liketh 
the King to kepe his Christmasse 



THE BOY COMPANIES 25 

some increase of numbers, up to the seventeenth century* 1 
Although subject to some general supervision from the Lord 
Chamberlain and to that extent part of the Chamber, it 
was largely a self-contained organization under its own 
Dean. Elizabeth, however, left the post of Dean vacant, 
and the responsibility of the Lord Chamberlain then became 
more direct. 2 It probably did not follow, at any rate in its 
full numbers, a progress, but moved with the Court to the 
larger 4 standing houses except possibly to Windsor, 
where there was a separate musical establishment in 
St. George’s Chapel. 3 It does not seem, at any rate in Tudor 
times, to have had any relation to the collegiate chapel of 
St. Stephen in the old palace of Westminster. 4 The number 
of Children varied between eight and ten up to 1526, when it 
was finally fixed by Henry VIII at twelve. 5 The chaplains 
and clerks were collectively known in the sixteenth century 

1 At the coronation of James in 1603 (Rimbault, 127) there were a Sub- 
dean, 7 Ministers, the Master of the Children, an Organist, 22 ordinary 
Gentlemen, and a Clerk of the Check ; also a Sergeant, 2 Yeomen, and 
a Groom of the Vestry. This agrees with the Elizabethan fee lists, which 
give the total number of Gentlemen as 32. The coronation list does not 
name Epistolers ; but it is clear from the notices of appointments in 
Rimbault, 1, that a Gospeller and Epistoler were appointed, as next 
in succession to the Gentlemen’s places, although it does not appear that 
they were necessarily ex-Children. There were also Extraordinary Gentle- 
men (Rimbault, 31), 

2 Cf. ch. ii. 

3 H. O. 160. The hall and chapel are to be kept ‘ at all times when 
his Highnesse shall lye in his castle of Windsor, his mannors of Bewlye, 
Richmond, Hampton Court, Greenwich, Eltham, or Woodstock ’ ; but ‘ in 
rideing journeys and progresses ’, only the Master of the Children, six 
men, six children, and some officers of the vestry are to attend. In the 
seventeenth century ‘ all removinge weekes ’ were amongst the ‘ auntient 
tymes of lyberty and playinge weekes ’ (Rimbault, 73). But the practice 
may have varied. Stopes, 252, gives a Stable warrant of 1554 for a wagon 
‘ for the necessarie conveying and cariage of the Children of our Chapel 
and their man from place to place, at such seasons, as they by our com- 
mandment shall remove to serve where wee shall appointe them '. 

4 A chapel of St. Stephen existed in 1205. It was rebuilt and made 
a free collegiate chapel in 1348, and dissolved in 1547, and the building 
assigned as a chamber for the House of Commons (J. T. Smith, Antiquities 
of Westminster , 72 ; V. H. London , i. 566). It may have origmated as 
a domestic chapel, but seems to be quite distinct from the Household 
Chapel by the sixteenth century. Thus its St. Nicholas Bishop had an 
old annual reward of £1 from the Exchequer (Devon, Issues of Exchequer, 
222 ; R. Henry, Hist, of Great Britain 8 , xii. 459 ; Brewer, iv. 869), while 
the Household boys got their reward of £6 12s. 4 d. from the Treasurer 
of the Chamber. Wallace, i. 22, notes that the Masters of the Children 
* all lived ’ at Greenwich, which suggests that this was the Tudor head- 
quarters of the Chapel. 

5 Wallace, i. 22, 23, 26, 61 , from patents of Masters ; Fee Lists 
(passim). 



26 


THE COMPANIES 


as the Gentlemen of the Chapel, and the most important of 
them, next to one who acted as subdean, was the Master of 
the Children, who trained them in music and, as time went 
on, also formed them into a dramatic company. The Master 
generally held office under a patent during pleasure, and was 
entitled in addition to his fee of j%d. a day or £91 8s, 1 \d. 
a year as Gentleman and his share in the general 1 rewards * 
of the Chapel, to a special Exchequer annuity of 40 marks 
(£26 13 s, 4 d.) y raised in 1526 to £40, 4 pro exhibicione puero- 
rum which is further defined in 1510 as 4 pro exhibicione 
vesturarum et lectorum ’ and in 1523 as 4 pro sustencione et 
diettes \ 1 To this, moreover, several other payments came 
to be added in the course of Henry VIII’s reign. Originally 
the Chapel dined and supped in the royal hall ; but this 
proved inconvenient, and a money allowance from the 
Cofferer of the Household was substituted, which was fixed 
in 1544 at is, a day for each Gentleman and 2s. a week for 
each Child. 2 The allowance for the Children was afterwards 
raised to 6 d. a day. 3 Long before this, however, the Masters 
had succeeded in obtaining an exceptional allowance of 8 d. 
a week for the breakfast of each Child, which was reckoned 
as making £16 a year and paid them in monthly instalments 
of 265. 8d. by the Treasurer of the Chamber. The costs of 
the Masters in their journeys for the impressment of Children 
were also recouped by the Treasurer of the Chamber. And 
from him they also received rewards of 20s. when Audivi 
vocem was sung on All Saints’ Day, £6 13s. 4 d, for the Children’s 
feast of St. Nicholas on 6 December, and 40 s. when Gloria 
in Excelsis was sung on Christmas and St. John’s Days. 
These were, of course, over and above any special rewards 
received for dramatic performances. 4 In the provision of 
vesturae the Masters were helped by the issue from the 
Great Wardrobe of black and tawny camlet gowns, yellow 
satin coats, and Milan bonnets, which presumably constituted 

1 R. Henry, Hist, of Great Britain 3 , xn. 457 ; Brewer, ii. 873 ; iii. 364 ; 
iv. 868 ; Fee Lists (passim) ; Wallace, i. 21, 23, 24, 26, 33, 61, from 
patents and Exchequer of Receipt, Auditor’s Privy Seal Books. The 
Elizabethan fee for a Gentleman was only ^30 (cf. p. 41, n. 3), but it was 
increased again to ^40 by James in 1604 (Rimbault, 61). 

2 H.O. 169, 212. The Chamber Accounts for Aug. 1520 include a special 
payment to the Master for the diets of the boys when they accompanied 
the King to Calais, at 2d. a day each. 

3 The allowance was 6 d. in 1575 (Collier, i. 175 ; Nagel, 29; from 
Harl. MS. 589, f. 220), but Hunnis’s petition of 1583 (cf. p. 37) implies 
that this rate was customary before Elizabeth’s reign. 

4 Chamber Accounts (passim) ; cf. p. 24, n. 6. For the feast of the 
Boy Bishop on St. Nicholas Day, cf. Mediaeval Stage, i. 336, 359, 369. 



THE BOY COMPANIES 


27 


the festal and penitential arrays of the choir. 1 The boys 
themselves do not appear to have received any wages but, 
when their voices had broken, the King made provision for 
them at the University or otherwise, and until this could be 
done, the Treasurer of the Chamber sometimes paid allow- 
ances to the Master or some other Gentleman for their 
maintenance and instruction. 2 

The earlier Masters were John Plummer (1444-55), Henry 
Abyngdon (1455-78), Gilbert Banaster (1478-83?), probably 
John Melyonek (1483-5), Lawrence Squier (1486-93), and 
William Newark (1493-1509). 3 Some of these have left 

1 Stopes, 15, ‘40 surplices for the gentlemen and 16 for the children 
of the Chapel ’ (Wardrobe warrant of 7 Oct. 1533) ; ‘ for 10 children of 
the Kings Chapell, for gownes of Tawney Chamblett lined with black 
satin of Bruges, and Milan bonnettes for the said children, as in the same 
boke of apparel is declared xlni 11 . iii 8 . iiii d . For two children of the Kings 
Chapell, for 2 gownes of Black Chamblett, lined with black satin of Bruges 
2 cotes of yellow saten of Bruges lined with Coton, and 2 Millan bonnettes, 
and for making and lining of said gownes and cotes as in the said boke 
at large it duly apperes x 11 xvm s . . . Item for twenty gentlemen of the 
King’s chapel, for 20 gownes of Black Dajpask for the said gentlemen, 
cxxvii 11 . x 8 . ’ ( Queen's Remembrancia, Wardrobe Expenses , Hen. VIII , 
52/10 A). 

2 Chamber Accounts (passim). From 1510 to 1513 Robert Fairfax had 
2 s. a week for the diet of William Alderson and Arthur Lovekyn, the 
King’s scholars, and £ 2 135. 4 d. for their teaching. In 1513 William Max, 
late a Child of the Chapel, had 405. In 1514 Cornish was finding and 
apparelling Robert Philip and another Child of the Chapel, for £1 13 s. 4 d. 
a quarter, and in 1517 finding and teaching William Saunders, late Child 
of the Chapel, for the same sum, with 2d. a week for board ‘ when the 
king keepeth no household ’. In 1529-30 Crane had 3 d. a day wages and 
2od. a week board wages for Robert Pery, and in 1530 also for William 
Pery. In 1531 Robert Pery was paid direct. Cunningham, xx, gives 
a late seventeenth-century example of a similar arrangement. In 1546 
a royal letter was written for the appointment of William Bretten, late 
a Chapel boy, to be singing-man at Lichfield (Brewer, xxi. 1. 142). Some 
of the above names appear in a list of Chapel Children, William Colman, 
William Maxe, William Alderson, Henry Meryell, John Williams, John 
Graunger, Arthur Lovekyn, Henry Andrewe, Nicholas Ivy, Edward Cooke, 
and James Curteys, receiving liveries at the funeral of Henry VII in 1509 
(Lafontaine, 3, from Ld. Ch. Records , 550, f. 131). Some amusing corre- 
spondence of 1518 relates to a boy Robin, whom Henry VIII wished to 
transfer from Wolsey's chapel to his own. It was stipulated that Cornish 
should treat him honestly, 4 otherwise than he doth his own ', and later 
Cornish wrote praising the clean singing and descant of the recruit (Brewer, 
ii. 1246-50). 

’ 3 J. M. Manly in C.H. vi. 279; C. Johnson, John Plummer (1921, 
Antiquaries Journal, i. 52) ; Wallace, i. 21, from patents and Exchequer 
payments. Wallace does not include Melyonek although (ii. 62) he gives 
the following commission, already printed by Collier, i. 41, and Rimbault, 
vii, from Harl. MS. 433, f. 189 : 

4 Mellenek, Ric. etc. To all and euery our siibgiettes aswele spirituell 
as temporcll thise our lettres hering or seeing greeting, We let you wite 



THE COMPANIES 


28 

a musical or literary reputation, and Banaster is said to 
have written an interlude in 1482. 1 But until the end of 
this period only occasional traces of dramatic performances 
by the Chapel can be discerned. An alleged play by the 
.Gentlemen at the Christmas of 1485 cannot be verified. 2 
The first recorded performance, therefore, is one of the 
disguisings at the wedding of Prince Arthur and Katharine 
of Spain in 1501, in which two of the children were con- 
cealed in mermaids ‘ singing right sweetly and with quaint 
hermony \ 3 

Towards the end of Henry VII’s reign begins a short series 
of plays given at the rate of one or two a year by the Gentle- 
men, which lasted through 1506-12. 4 Thereafter there is no 
other play by the Gentlemen as such upon record until the 
Christmas of 1553, when they performed a morality of which 

that for the confidence & trust that we haue in our trusty and welbeloued 
seruant John Melyonek oon of ye gentilmen of our Chapell and knowing 
also his expert habilitie and connyng in ye science of Musique haue licenced 
him and by thise presentes licence and geue him auctorite that within 
all places in this our realme aswele Cathedral churges coliges chappells 
houses of relegion and al oyer franchised & exempt places as elliswhere 
our colege roial at Wyndesor reserued & except may take and sease for 
vs and in our name al suche singing men & childre being expart in the 
said science of Musique as he can finde and think sufficient and able to 
do vs seruice. Wherfor &c Yeuen &c at Nottingham the xvj th day of 
September A 0 secundo [1484]/ 

Banaster did not die until 1487, but I think Melyonek must have 
replaced him, perhaps without a patent, under Richard III. 

1 Cf. D. N. B. Songs by Banaster and Newark are in Addl. MS. 5465 
(Chambers and Sidgwick, Early English Lyrics, 299). 

2 Collier, i. 46 , cf. Wallace, i. 12. I am not sure that Collier meant 
1485. 

3 Reyher, 504, from Harl. MS. 69, f. 34 v . Wallace, i. 13 ; ii. 69, citing 
the same MS., misdates ‘ 1490 ’, and says that eight children took part. 
Four singing children who had appeared in another disguising a day or 
two before were probably also from the Chapel. 

4 Chamber Accounts in Wallace, 1. 28, 38 ; Bernard Andrew, Annales 
Hen. VII (Gairdner, Memorials of Hen. VII), 104; Halle, 1. 25, Professor 
Wallace seems to think that the annual Christmas rewards paid by the 
Treasurer of the Chamber to the Gentlemen, which went on to the end 
of the reign, were for plays. But these were of ^13 6s. 8 d., whereas the 
reward for a play was £6 13 s. 4 d. They were paid on Twelfth Night, 
and are sometimes said to be for * payne taking ’ during Christmas. In 
1510 they had an extra £6 13s. 4 d. for praying for the Queen's good 
deliverance. The ‘ payne taking ' was no doubt as singers. An order 
of Henry VII's time (H. 0 . 12 1) for the wassail on Twelfth Night has, 
‘ Item, the chappell to stand on the one side of the hall, and when the 
steward cometh in at the hall doore with the wassell, he must crie three 
tymes, Wassell, wassell, wassell ; and then the chappell to answere with 
a good songe \ The Gentlemen also had 405. annually from the Treasurer 
of the Chamber ‘ to drink with their bucks ’ given them for a summer 
feast, which was still held in the seventeenth century (Rimbault, 122). 



THE BOY COMPANIES 


29 


the principal character was Genus Humanum. 1 This had 
been originally planned for the coronation on the previous 
1 October, and as a warrant then issued states that a corona* 
tion play had customarily been given ‘ by the gentlemen of 
the chappell of our progenitoures ’, it may perhaps be inferred 
that Edward VPs coronation play of 4 the story of Orpheus * 
on 22 February 1547 was also by the Gentlemen. 2 In the 
meantime the regular series of Chapel plays at Court had 
been broken after 1512, and when it was taken up again in 
1517 it was not by the Gentlemen, but by the Children. 3 
This is, of course, characteristic of the Renaissance. 4 But 
an immediate cause is probably to be found in the personality 
of William Cornish, a talented and energetic Master of 
the Children, who succeeded William Newark in the autumn 
of 1509, and held office until his death in 1523. 5 Cornish 
appears to have come of a musical family. 6 He took part 

1 Stopes, Shakespeare's Environment , 238 ; Feuillerat, Ed. and Mary, 
149, 289. Professor Feuillerat says that one of the documents relating 
to the play refers to the * Children of the Chapel and doubts whether 
there is a real distinction between the ‘ Gentlemen ' and the * Children ' 
as actors. 

2 Feuillerat, Ed. and Mary , 3, 255. The conjecture is supported by 
the fact that garments belonging to the Revels were in possession of two 
Gentlemen of the Chapel in April 1547 (ibid., 12, 13). 

8 Chamber Accounts in Wallace, i. 38, 65, 70; Brewer, xiv. 2. 284; 
Kempe, 69 ; Collier, i. 78 ; Feuillerat, Ed. and Mary, 266, 288. The 
‘ iiij Children y* played afore y e king * on 14 Jan. 1 508 were not necessarily 
of the Chapel. 

4 Cf. ch. viii and Mediaeval Stage, ii. 192, 215. 

6 Wallace, i. 33. No patent is cited, but the privy seal for the payment 
to Cornish of the Exchequer annuity was dated 1 April 1510, and he was 
shortly afterwards paid for the Christmas and Easter quarters. Newark 
had died in Nov. 1 509. It is therefore a little puzzling to find in a list of 
Exchequer fees payable during the year ended Michaelmas 1508 (R. Henry, 
Hist, of Great Britain 3 , xii. 457) the item ‘ Willelmo Comysshe magistro 
puerorum capellae regis pro excubitione eorundem puerorum 26 11 . 13 8 . 4 d .’ 
Probably the list was prepared retrospectively in Henry VIII’s reign (cf. 
the analogous list in Brewer, ii. 873), and the name rather than the date 
is an error. 

6 The data are : (a) Exchequer Payments (Wallace, i. 34), Mich. 1493, 

‘ Willelmo Cornysshe de Rege ', 1005. ; (b) T. C. Accounts, * to one 

Cornysshe for a prophecy in rewarde *, 135. 4 d. (12 Nov. 1493) ; ‘to 
Comishe of the Kings Chapell \ 26 s. 8 d. (1 Sept. 1496) ; * to Cornysshe 
for 3 pagents ’ (26 Oct. 1501) ; ‘ m r kyte Cornisshe and other of the 
Chapell y t played affore ye king at Richemounte *, £6 135. 4 d. (25 Dec. 
1508) ; (c) Household Book of Q. Elizabeth, 25 Dec. 1502, ‘to Cornisshe 
for setting of a Carrall vpon Cristmas Day in reward \ 13s. 4 d. ; (d) John 
Cornysh in list of Gent, of Chapel 23 Feb. 1504, and William Comysh 
in similar lists c. 1509 and 22 Feb. 1511 (Lafontaine, 2, from Ld. Ch. 
Records ) ; (e) Songs by * W. Cornishe, jun.' in Addl. MS. 5465, by ‘ John 
Cornish ' in Addl. MS. 5665, by * W. Cornish * in Addl. MS. 31922 (Early 
English Lyrics , 299) ; (f) A Treatise betweene Trouthe and Enformacon, by 



30 


THE COMPANIES 


in a play given by the Gentlemen of the Chapel shortly before 
his appointment as Master. And although it was some years 
before he organized the Children into a definite company, he 
was the ruling spirit and chief organizer of the elaborate 
disguisings which glorified the youthful court of Henry VIII 
from the Shrovetide of 15 n to the visit of the Emperor 
Charles V in 1522, and hold an important place in the story, 
elsewhere dealt with, of the Court mask. 1 In these revels 
both the Gentlemen and the Children of the Chapel, as well 
as the King and his lords and ladies took a part, and they 
were often designed so as to frame an interlude, which would 
call for the services of skilled performers. 2 

In view of Cornish’s importance in the history of the 
stage at Court, it is matter for regret that none of his dramatic 
writing has been preserved, for it is impossible to attach any 
value to the fantastic attributions of Professor Wallace, who 
credits him not only with the anonymous Calisto and Meliboea , 
Of Gentleness and Nobility , The Pardoner and the Frere f and 
Johan Johan , but also with The Four Elements and The Four 
P. P. } for the authorship of which by John Rastell and John 
Heywood respectively there is good contemporary evidence. 3 

‘ William Cornysshe otherwise called Nyssewhete Chapelman with . . . 
Henry the VII th his raigne the xix th yere the moneth of July * [1504], 
doubtless the satirical ballad on Empson referred to by Stowe, Annales , 
816 (B. M. Royal MS. 18, D. 11). I think they yield an older William 
and a John Cornish, of whom one, probably John, arranged the three 
pageants at Arthur’s wedding, and a William * jun.' who must have 
joined the Chapel 111 1503 or 1504 and became Master of the Children. 
The older William may be identical with the Westminster (q.v.) choir- 
master of 1479-80. A Christopher or ‘ Kit ' Cornish, referred to by 
Stopes, 17, and elsewhere, had no existence. This is a ghost-name, due 
to the juxtaposition of ‘ kyte ’, i.e. Sir John Kite, afterwards Archbishop 
of Armagh, and ‘ Cornisshe ’ in the 1 508 record above. 

1 Cf. ch. v and Mediaeval Stage, i. 400. 

2 The T. C. Accounts show a reward of £200 to Cornish on 30 Nov. 1516, 
of which the occasion is not specified, and a payment of ^18 2 s. 11 \d. 
for ‘ ij pagentes ' on 6 July 1517. With these possible exceptions, no 
expenditure on the disguisings or the interludes which formed part of 
them, as distinct from the independent interludes by the Children, for 
which Cornish received £6 135. 4 d. each, seems to have passed through 
these accounts. Any remuneration received by Cornish or his fellows or 
children for their personal services probably passed through the Revels 
Accounts. 

3 Wallace, i. 16, 50. He light-heartedly accuses my friend Mr. Pollard, 
me, and others of perpetuating an old mis-ascription on the strength of 
Bale, ‘ generally without consulting the Scriptores ’, in the first edition 
of which (1548) Bale says that Rastell ‘ reliquit \ and in the second that 
he 4 edidit ’ The Four Elements. This Professor Wallace regards as 
revision by Bale of an incorrect assertion that Rastell was the author 
into an assertion that he was the publisher. But Bale elsewhere uses 
4 edidit ' to indicate authorship, as Professor Wallace might have learnt 



THE BOY COMPANIES 


3i 


Cornish was succeeded as Master of the Children by William 
Crane (1523-45) and Crane by Richard Bower, whose patent 
was successively renewed by Edward VI, presumably by 
Mary, and finally by Elizabeth on 30 April 1559. 1 His 
service was almost certainly continuous, and it is therefore 
rather puzzling to be told that a commission to take up singing 
children for the Chapel, similar to that of John Melyonek 
in 1484, was issued in February 1550 to Philip van Wilder, 
a Gentleman of the Privy Chamber. 2 Neither the full text 
nor a reference to the source for the warrant is given, and 
I suspect the explanation to be that it was not for the Chapel 
at all. Philip van Wilder was a lutenist, one of a family of 
musicians of whom others were in the royal service, and he 
may not improbably have had a commission to recruit 
a body of young minstrels with whom other notices suggest 
that he may have been connected. 3 Bower himself had 
a commission for the Chapel on 6 June 1552. 4 Although the 
Children continued to give performances at Court both under 

from the notice of Heywood which he quotes on p. 80. As to The Four P. P. 
there are three early editions by three different publishers, and they all 
assign it to Heywood. 

1 Wallace, i. 61, 69 ; li 63, from patents and Exchequer payments. 
The Elizabethan patent is in Rymer, xv. 517. 

2 Rimbault, viii, quoting only the words ‘ in anie churches or chappells 
within England to take to the King's use, such and so many singing 
children and choristers, as he or his deputy should think good \ Stopes, 
12, gives Lansd. MS. 171, and Stowe MS. 371, f. 3i v , as references, but 
the commission is not in either of them. 

3 Matthew Welder appears as a lute and viol at Court in 1516 and 
1517. Peter Welder was appointed in 1519 and is traceable to 1559, as 
a lute, viol, or flute. Henry van Wilder was a * musician ’, 1553-8. Philip 
Welder or van Wilder himself is first noted as a ‘ minstrel ' in 1 526. Later 
he was a lute up to 1554. In 1547 he was also * of the Privy Chamber ’ 
and keeper of the King’s musical instruments (Nagel, 6, 13, 15, 16, 18, 
22, 24, 27 ; Lafontaine, 8, 9, 12 ; Brewer, i, cxi). He died 24 Jan. 1554, 
leaving a son, Henry, probably the one noted above (Fry, London Inquisi- 
tions, i. 1 17). The Chamber Accounts for 1538-41 show an allowance to 
him of ^70 ‘ for six singing children ' (Stopes, 12). Several references to 
* Philippe and his fellows yong mynstrels ’ and to ‘ the children that be 
in the keeping of Philip and Edmund Harmon ' appear in Green Cloth 
documents from 30 June 1538 to 1544 ( H . O. 166, 172, 191, 208 ; Genea- 
logist , xxx. 23). Edmund Harmon was orte of the royal Barbers. Finally, 
livery lists of 1 547 show nine singing men and children under ‘ M r . Phelips ’ 
(Lafontaine, 7). An earlier company of ‘ the King’s young minstrels * 
than this of 1538-50 seems to have been lodged at court c. 1526 (Brewer, 
iv. 1. 865), and there were * troyes autres nos ioesnes ministralx ' as far 
back as 1369 (Life Records of Chaucer, iv. 174). Elizabethan fee lists 
continue to make provision for * six children for singing but there is 
no indication that the posts were filled up. 

4 Wallace, ii. 63, from docquet in B. M. Royal MS. 18, C. xxiv, f. 233 
By an obvious error, the name is written by the clerk as * Gowre \ 



3 * 


THE COMPANIES 


Crane and under Bower, it may be doubted whether they 
were quite so prominent as they had been in Cornish’s time. 
Certainly they had to contend with the competition of the 
Paul’s boys. Crane himself is not known to have been 
a dramatist. It has been suggested that Bower’s author- 
ship is indicated by the initials R. B. on the title-page of 
Apius and Virginia (1575), but, in view of the date of the 
publication, this must be regarded as very doubtful. The 
chief Marian producer of plays was Nicholas Udall, but it 
remains uncertain whether he wrote for the Chapel Children. 
Professor Wallace has no justification whatever for his 
confident assertions that John Hey wood 1 not only could 
but did ’ write plays for the Chapel, that he 4 had grown up 
in the Chapel under Cornish ’, and that ‘ as dramatist and 
Court-entertainer ’ he 4 was naturally associated with the 
performances of the Chapel’. 1 There is no proof whatever 
that Heywood began as a Chapel boy, and although he 
certainly wrote plays for boys, they are nowhere said or 
implied to have been of the Chapel company. There are scraps 
of evidence which indicate that they may have been the 
Paul’s boys. 2 It is also conceivable that they may have 
been Philip van Wilder’s young minstrels. 

When Elizabeth came to the throne, then, the Chapel had 
already a considerable dramatic tradition behind it. But 
for a decade its share in the Court revels remains somewhat 
obscure. The Treasurer of the Chamber records no payments 
for performances to its Masters before 1568. 3 A note in a 
Revels inventory of 1560 of the employment of some white 
sarcenet 4 in ffurnishinge of a pley by the children of the 
Chappie ’ may apparently refer to any year from 1555 to 
1560, and it is therefore hazardous to identify the Chapel 
with the anonymous players of the interlude of 31 December 
1559 which contained 4 suche matter that they wher com- 
mondyd to leyff off’. 4 Bower may of course have retained 

1 Wallace, i. 77. 2 Cf. p. 12. 

3 It is possible that the Treasurer of the Chamber did not pay all the 
rewards for plays during the earlier years of the reign ; but the suggestion 
of Wallace, i. 108, that, if we had the Books of Queen’s Payments , more 
information might be available, seems to show a failure to realize the 
identity of the Tudor Books of King’s Payments with the T. of C. Accounts . 
There might, however, be rewards in a book subsidiary to the Privy Purse 
Accounts. I do not think that much can be made of the recital of 1 playes ’ 
as well as * maskes ' in the preamble of the Revels Accounts for 1558-9, 
during which the T. of C. paid no rewards, since this may be merely 
* common form ’. 

4 FeuiUerat, Eliz. 34 ; cf. Appendix A. Naturally no * reward ' would 
be paid in such circumstances. Fleay, 16, 32, 60, conjectures that the 
play was Misogonus. 



THE BOY COMPANIES 


33 


Catholic sympathies, but he died on 26 July 1561, and it is 
difficult to suppose that the high dramatic reputation of 
his successor Richard Edwardes was not based upon a greater 
number of Court productions than actually stand to his name. 1 
Edwardes had been a Gentleman of the Chapel from 1556 
or earlier. His patent as Master is dated on 27 October 1561, 
and on the following 10 December he received a commission 
the terms of which served as a model for those of the next 
two Masterships : 2 

Memorandum quod x° die Januarii anno infra scripto istud breve 
deliberatum fuit domino custodi magni Sigilli apud Westmona- 
sterium exequendum. 

Elizabeth by the grace of God Quene of England Fraunce & Ireland 
defender of the faythe &c. To our right welbeloued & faythfull coun- 
saylour Sir Nicholas Bacon knight Keper of our great Seale of Englande, 
commaundinge you that vnder our great Seale aforsayd ye cause to be 
made our lettres patentes in forme followinge. To all mayours sherifs 
bayliefes constables & all other our officers gretinge. For that it is 
mete that our chappell royall should be furnysshed with well singing 
children from tyme to tyme we have & by these presentes do authorise 
our welbeloued servaunt Richard Edwardes master of our children of 
our sayd chappell or his deputie beinge by his bill subscribed & sealed 
so authorised, & havinge this our presente comyssion with hym, to 
take as manye well singinge children as he or his sufficient deputie shall 
thinke mete in all chathedrall & collegiate churches as well within 
libertie[s] as without within this our realme of England whatsoever 
they be, And also at tymes necessarie, horses, boates, barges, cartes, 
& carres, as he for the conveyaunce of the sayd children from any place 
to our sayd chappell royall [shall thinke mete] with all maner of neces- 
saries apperteynyng to the sayd children as well by lande as water at 
our prices ordynarye to be redely payed when they for our service shall 
remove to any place or places, Provided also that if our sayd servaunt 
or his deputie or deputies bearers hereof in his name cannot forthwith 
remove the chyld or children when he by vertue of this our com- 
myssyon hathe taken hym or them that then the sayd child or children 
shall remayne there vntill suche tyme as our sayd servaunt Rychard 
Edwardes shall send for him or them. Wherfore we will & commaunde 
you & everie of you to whom this our comyssion shall come to be 
helpinge aydinge & assistinge to the vttermost of your powers as ye 

1 Strype, Survey of London (App. i. 92), gives the date from Bower’s 
tombstone at Greenwich, and as his death is recited in Edwardes’ patent 
(Stopes, Hunnis , 146) and his will of 18 June 1561 was proved on 25 Aug, 
1561 (Wallace, i. 106) , it is clear that the entry of Rimbault, 1, * 1563. 
Rich. Bower died, M r of the children, A 0 s t0 ’, must be an error. 

a Wallace, Blackfriars, 65, from Privy Seal in P. R. O. The patent 
dated 10 Jan. 1562 is on Patent Rolls, 4 Eliz. p. 6, m. 14 dor so. 

D 


22292 



34 


THE COMPANIES 


will answer at your vttermoste perylles. In wytnes wherof &c. Gcven 
vnder our privie scale at our Manor of St James the fourth daye of 
Decembre in the fourth yere of our Raigne. 

R. Jones. 

At Christmas 1564-5 the boys appeared at Court in a tragedy 
by Edwardes, which may have been his extant Damon 
and Pythias A On 2 February 1565 and 2 February 1566 they 
gave performances before the lawyers at the Candlemas 
feasts of Lincoln’s Inn. 2 There is nothing to show that the 
Chapel had any concern with the successful play of Palamon 
and Arcite , written and produced by Edwardes for Elizabeth’s 
visit to Oxford in September 1566. Edwardes died on the 
following 31 October, and on 15 November William Hunnis 
was appointed Master of the Children. 3 His formal patent 
of appointment is dated 22 April 1567, and the bill for his 
commission, which only differs from that of Edwardes in 
minor points of detail, on 18 April. 4 Hunnis had been a 
Gentleman at least since about 1553, with an interval of 
disgrace under Mary, owing to his participation in Protestant 
plots. He was* certainly himself a dramatist, but none of 
his plays are known to be extant, and a contemporary 
eulogy speaks of his 4 enterludes ’ as if they dated from an 
earlier period than that of his Mastership. It is, however, 
natural to suppose that he may have had a hand in some at 
least of the pieces which his Children produced at Court. 
The first of these was a tragedy at Shrovetide 1568. In 
the following year is said to have been published a pamphlet 
entitled The Children of the Chapel Stript and Whipt , which 
apparently originated in some gross offence given by the 
dramatic activities of the Chapel to the growing Puritan 
sentiment. ‘ Plaies ’, said the writer, 4 will never be supprest, 
while her maiesties unfledged minions flaunt it in silkes and 
sattens. They had as well be at their Popish service, in the 
deuils garments.* And again, 4 Even in her maiesties chappel 
do these pretty vpstart youthes profane the Lordes Day by the 

1 This is recorded in a Revels document, and seems a clear qase of 
a play given by the Chapel and not paid for by the T. of C. 

* Cf. ch. vii, p. 223. 

8 Rimbault, 2. On Hunnis, cf. ch. xxiii. 

4 Stopes, 295, translates the patent of appointment from Auditors Patent 
Books, ix, f. I44 v ; the Privy Seal is in Privy Seals , Series iii, 117$. Stopes 
also prints the patent and Wallace, ii. 66, the Signet Bill (misdescribing 
it as a Privy Seal) for the commission ; it is enrolled on Patent Rolls , 
9 Eliz. p. 10, m. 16 dor so. It is varied from the model of 1562 by the 
inclusion of power to the Master to take up lodging for the children in 
transit, and to fix ‘ reasonable prises ' for carriage and necessaries at his 
discretion. 



THE BOY COMPANIES 


35 


lascivious writhing of their tender limbs, and gorgeous decking 
of their apparell, in feigning bawdie fables gathered from the 
idolatrous heathen poets \ I should feel more easy in drawing 
inferences from this, were the book extant. 1 But it seems to 
indicate either that the controversialist of 1569 was less 
careful than his successors to avoid attacks upon Elizabeth’s 
private * solace ’, or that the idea had already occurred to 
the Master of turning his rehearsals of Court plays to profit 
by giving open performances in the Chapel. That the Court 
performances themselves took place in the Chapel is possible, 
but not very likely ; the usual places for them seem to have 
been the Hall or the Great Chamber. 2 But no doubt they 
sometimes fell on a Sunday. 

The boys played at Court on 6 January 1570 and during 
Shrovetide 1571. On 6 January 1572 they gave Narcissus , 
and on 13 February 1575 a play with a hunt in it. 3 On all 
these occasions Hunnis was payee. An obvious error of the 
clerk of the Privy Council in entering him as ‘ John ’ Hunnis 
in connexion with the issue of a warrant for the payment of 
1572 led Chalmers to infer the existence of two Masters of 
the name of Hunnis. 4 During the progress of 1575 Hunnis 
contributed shows to the 4 Princely Pleasures ’ of Kenilworth, 
and very likely utilized the services of the boys in these. 5 
And herewith his active conduct of the Chapel performances 
appears to have been suspended for some years. A play of 
Mutius Scaevola, given jointly at Court by the Children of 
the Chapel and the Children of Windsor on 6 January 1577, 
is the first of a series for which the place of Hunnis as payee 
is taken by Richard Farrant. To this series belong unnamed 
plays on 27 December 1577 and 27 December 1578, Loyalty 
and Beauty on 2 March 1579, and Alucius on 27 December 

1 Hazlitt-Warton, iv. 2 1 7, citing f. xii of the pamphlet. I know of no 
copy. One is catalogued among Bishop Tanner's books in the Bodleian, 
but Stojpes, 226, * went to Oxford on purpose to see it, but found that 
it had utterly vanished ’. Macray, Annals of the Bodleian, 211, thinks 
that it may have been destroyed when Tanner's books fell into a river 
during their transit from Norwich to Oxford in Dec. 1731. The pamphlet 
is also cited for an example of the use of the term ‘ spur money ’ (Bumpus, 
29, with date * 1598 ’). F. T. Hibgame (jo N. Q. i. 458) describes a collec- 
tion of pamphlets seen by him in New York under the general title of 
The Sad Decay of Discipline in our Schools (1830), which included Some 
Account of the Stripping and Whipping of the Children of the Chapel , con- 
taining a * realistic account of* the treatment of the boys at one of the 
royal chapels of which he thought the author might be George Colman. 

2 Cf. ch. vii. 

9 Feuillerat, Eliz. 244, * Holly, Ivye, firr poles & Mosse for the Rock . . . 
Homes iij, Collers iij. Leashes iij & dogghookes iij with Bawdrickes for 
the homes' in Hvnnyes playe '. 

4 Variorum, iii. 439. 9 Cf. ch. xxiii (Gascoigne). 


D 2 



36 


THE COMPANIES 


1579. 1 Farrant, who is known as a musician, had been 
a Gentleman of the Chapel in 1553, and had left on 24 April 
1564, doubtless to take up the post of Master of the Children 
of Windsor, in which capacity he annually presented a play 
at Court from 1566-7 to 1575-6. 2 But evidently the two 
offices were not regarded as incompatible, for on 5 November 
1570, while still holding his Mastership, he was again sworn 
in as Gentleman of the Chapel 4 from Winsore \ 8 A recent 
discovery by M. Feuillerat enables us to see that his taking 
over of the Chapel Children from Hunnis in 1576 was part 
of a somewhat considerable theatrical enterprise. Stimulated 
perhaps by the example of Burbadge’s new-built Theatre, 
he took a lease of some of the old Priory buildings in the 
Blackfriars ; and here, either for the first time, or in continua- 
tion of a similar use of the Chapel itself, which had provoked 
criticism, the Children appeared under his direction in 
performances open to the public. 4 The ambiguous relation 
of the Blackfriars precinct to the jurisdiction of the City 
Corporation probably explains the inclusion of the Chapel in 
the list of companies whose exercises the Privy Council 
instructed the City to tolerate on 24 December 1578. It is, 
I think, pretty clear that, although Farrant is described as 
Master of the Chapel Children by the Treasurer of the Chamber 
from 1577 to 1580, and by Hunnis himself in his petition of 
i 583, 5 he was never technically Master, but merely acted as 
deputy to Hunnis, probably even to the extent of taking all 
the financial risks off his hands. Farrant was paid for 
a comedy at Lincoln’s Inn at Candlemas 1580 and is described 
in the entry as 4 one of the Queen’s chaplains *. 6 On 30 Novem- 
ber 1580 he died and Hunnis then resumed his normal 
functions. 7 The Chapel played at Court on 5 February 1581, 
31 December 1581, 27 February 1582, and 26 December 

1 W. Creizenach (Sh.- Jahrbuch, liv. 73) points out that the source must 
have been Livy, ,xxvi. 50. 

2 Cf. infra (Windsor). 3 Rimbault, 2. 

4 Cf. ch. xvii (Blackfriars). The bare fact of this early use of the 

Blackfriars has, of course, long been known from the reference to comedies 

at the Blackfriars in Gosson, P. C. 188 (App. C, No. xxx), and the pro- 
logues to Lyly’s Campaspe and Sapho and Phao. Fleay, 36, 39, 40, 
guessed that the early Blackfriars performances were at an inn, and by 
the Paul's boys, and that the euphuistic prose plays at the Bel Savage 
mentioned by Gosson, S. A. 39 (App. C, No. xxii), in 1579 were early 
Chapel versions of Lyly’s above-named plays. But there is no evidence 
that either of the boy companies ever used an inn. 

* Cf. p. 38. e Cf. ch. vii, p. 223. 

7 Rimbault, 3. The Blackfriars correspondence shows that the date 

1581 given in Rimbault, 56, is wrong. A warrant of 1582 for a lease in 
reversion to his widow Anne is in Hatfield MSS . ii. 539. 



THE BOY COMPANIES 37 

1582. One of these plays may have been Peele’s Arraignment 
of Paris ; that of 26 December 1582 was A Game of Cards, 
possibly the piece which, according to Sir John Harington, 
was thought 4 somewhat too plaine ’, and was championed 
at rehearsal by 4 a notable wise counseller \ l On the first 
three of these occasions the Treasurer merely entered a pay- 
ment to the Master of the Children, without giving a name, 
but in the entry for the last play Hunnis is specified. It is 
known, moreover, that Hunnis, together with one John 
Newman, took a sub-lease of the Blackfriars from Farrant’s 
widow on 20 December 1581. They do not seem to have been 
very successful financially, for they were irregular in their 
rent, and neglected their repairs. It was perhaps trepidation 
at the competition likely to arise from the establishment of 
the Queen's men in 1583, which led them to transfer their 
interest to one Henry Evans, a scrivener of London, from 
whom, when Sir William More took steps to protect himself 
against the breach of covenant involved in an alienation 
without his consent, it was handed on to the Earl of Oxford 
and ultimately to John Lyly. 2 In November 1583, therefore, 
Hunnis found himself much dissatisfied with his financial posi- 
tion, and drew up the following memorial, probably for sub- 
mission to the Board of Green Cloth of the royal household : 3 

4 Maye it please your honores, 'William Hunnys, M r of the Children of 
hir highnes Chappell, most humble beseecheth to consider of these 
fewe lynes. First, hir Maiestie alloweth for the dyett of xij children 
of hir sayd Chappell daylie vi J a peece by the daye, and xl 11 by the 
yeare for theyre aparrell and all other furneture. 

4 Agayne there is no ffee allowed neyther for the m r of the sayd 
children nor for his ussher, and yet neuertheless is he constrayned, over 
and besydes the ussher still to kepe bothe a man servant to attend vpon 
them and lykewyse a woman seruant to wash and kepe them cleane. 

4 Also there is no allowance for the lodginge of the sayd chilldren, 
such tyme as they attend vppon the Courte, but the m r to his greate 
charge is dryuen to hyer chambers both for himself, his usher chilldren 
and servantes. 

4 Also theare is no allowaunce for ryding jornies when occasion serueth 
the m r to trauell or send into sundrie partes within this realme, to 
take vpp and bring such children as be thought meete to be trayned 
for the service of hir Maiestie. 

4 Also there is no allowance ne other consideracion for those children 
whose voyces be chaunged, whoe onelye do depend vpon the charge 
of the sayd m r vntill such tyme as he may preferr the same with cloath- 
ing and other furniture, vnto his no smalle charge. 


1 App. C, No. xlv. 2 Cf. ch. xvii (Blackfriars). 

3 Wallace, i. 156 ; Stopes, Hunnis, 252 ; from 5 . P. D. Eliz . clxiii. 88, 



38 


THE COMPANIES 


4 And although it may be obiected that hir Maiesties allowaunce is no 
whitt less then hir Maiesties ffather of famous memorie therefore 
allowed : yet considering the pryces of thinges present to the tyme 
past and what annuities the m r then hadd out of sundrie abbies within 
this realme, besydes sondrie giftes from the Kinge, and dyuers per- 
ticuler flees besydes, for the better mayntenaunce of the sayd children 
and office : and besides also there hath ben withdrawne from the sayd 
chilldren synce hir Maiesties comming to the crowne xij d by the daye 
which was allowed for theyr breakefastes as may apeare by the Treasorer 
of the Chamber his acompt for the tyme beinge, with other allowaunces 
incident to the office as appeareth by the auntyent acomptes in the 
sayd office which I heere omytt. 

' The burden heerof hath from tyme to tyme so hindred the M™ of 
the Children viz. M r Bower, M r Edwardes, my sellf and M r Farrant : 
that notwithstanding some good helpes otherwyse some of them dyed 
in so poore case, and so deepelie indebted that they haue not left 
scarcelye wherewith to burye them. 

‘ In tender consideradon whereof, might it please your honores that 
the sayde allowaunce of vj d a daye apeece for the childrens dyet might 
be reserued in hir Maiesties coffers during the tyme of theyre atten- 
daunce. And in liew thereof they to be allowed meate and drinke 
within this honorable householde for that I am not able vppon so small 
allowaunce eny longer to beare so heauie a burden. Or otherwyse to 
be consydred as shall seeme best vnto your honorable wysdomes. 

'[Endorsed] 1583 November. The humble peticion of the M r of 
the Children of hir highnes Chappell [and in another hand] To haue 
further allowances for the finding of the children for causes within 
mentioned.* 

The actual request made by Hunnis seems a modest one. 
He seems to have thought that for his boys to have the run 
of their teeth at the tables of Whitehall would be a better 
bargain than the board-wages of 6 d. a day. Doubtless he 
knew their appetites. I do not think that the Green Cloth 
met his views, for in the next reign the 6d. was still being 
paid and was raised to lod. for the benefit of Nathaniel Giles. 1 
Possibly Hunnis did get back the £16 a year for breakfasts, 
which seems to be the fee described by him as 1 s. a d^y, 
although that in fact works out to £18 5 s. a year, and the 
£g 13s. 4^* for largess, if that also had been withdrawn, since 
these are included in fee lists for 1593 and 1598. 2 The 
4 perticuler ffees ’ to which he refers are presumably the 
allowances occasionally paid by Henry for the maintenance 
of boys whose voices had changed. In any case Hunnis’s 
personal grievance must have been fully met by liberal grants 

1 Cf. p. 50, which suggests that the boys occasionally ate in hall at 
festival times. 

# The Chamber Accounts show no renewal of the payments. 



THE BOY COMPANIES 


39 


of Crown lands which were made him in 1585. 1 It will be 
observed that he says nothing of any profits derived by him 
from the dramatic activities of the Children ; whether in 
the form of rewards at Court or in that of admission fees 
to public performances. Plays were no part of the official 
functions of the Chapel, although it is consistent with the 
general policy of the reign towards the London stage to suppose 
that Elizabeth and her economical ministers were well enough 
content that the deficiencies of her Chapel maintenance should 
be eked out, and her Christmas 4 solace * rendered possible, 
out of the profits of public exercise. So far, however, as the 
Chapel was concerned, this convenient arrangement was, 
for the time, nearly at an end. The facts with regard to the 
boy companies during 1584 are somewhat complicated. 
The Treasurer of the Chamber paid the Master of the Chapel 
Children, without specifying his name, for plays on 6 January 
and 2 February 1584. He also paid John Lyly for plays by 
the Earl of Oxford’s 4 servants ’ on 1 January and 3 March 
1584, and Henry Evans for a play by the Earl of Oxford’s 
4 children * on 27 December 1584. Were this all, one would 
naturally assume that Oxford had brought to Court the 
4 lads ’ who appeared under his name at Norwich in 1580, 
and that these formed a company, quite distinct from the 
Chapel, of which the Earl entrusted the management either 
jointly or successively to Lyly and Evans. Lyly, of course, 
is known to have been at one time in the Earl’s service. 2 
One would then be left to speculate as to which company 
played at the Blackfriars during 1584 and where the other 
played. But the real puzzle begins when it is realized that 
in the same year 1584 two of Lyly’s plays, Campaspe and 
Sapho arid Phao , were for the first time printed, that these 
have prologues 4 at the Blackfriars ’, that their title-pages 
indicate their performance at Court, not by Oxford’s com- 
pany, but by the Chapel and the Paul’s boys, of which latter 
the Treasurer of the Chamber makes no mention, and that 
the title-pages of the two issues of Campaspe further specify, 
in the one case Twelfth Night, and in the other, which is 
apparently corrected, New Year’s Day, as the precise date of 
performance, while that of Sapho and Phao similarly specifies 
Shrove Tuesday. But New Year’s Day and Shrove Tuesday 
of 1584 are the days which the Treasurer of the Chamber 
assigns not to the Chapel, but to Oxford’s company; and 
even if you accept Professor Feuillerat’s rather far-fetched 
assumption that the days referred to in the title-pages were 

1 Cf. ch. xxiii (Hunnis). 2 Cf. ch. xiii (Oxford's), ch. xxiii (Lyly). 



40 


THE COMPANIES 


not necessarily those falling in the year of issue, you will not 
find a New Year’s Day, or for the matter of that a Twelfth 
Night, since the opening of the Blackfriars, which, if a play- 
day at all, is not occupied either by some Chapel or Paul’s 
play of which the name is known, or by some other company 
altogether. 1 The conjecture seems inevitable that, when he 
found himself in financial straits and with the rivalry of the 
Queen’s men to face in 1583, Hunnis came to an arrangement 
with the Paul’s boys, who had recently lost Sebastian West- 
cott, on the one hand, and with the Earl of Oxford and his 
agents Lyly and Evans on the other, and put the Blackfriars 
at the disposal of a combination of boys from all three com- 
panies, who appeared indifferently at Court under the name 
of the Master or that of the Earl. In the course of 1584 
Sir William More resumed possession of the Blackfriars. 
Henry Evans must have made some temporary arrangement 
to enable the company to appear at Court during the winter 
of 1584-5. 2 But for a year or two thereafter there were no 
boys acting in London until in 1586 an arrangement with 
Thomas Giles, Westcott’s successor at St. Paul’s, afforded 
a new opportunity for Lyly’s pen. 3 

The Chapel had contributed pretty continuously to Court 
drama for nearly a century. They now drop out of its 
story for about seventeen years. 4 In addition to the two 
plays of Lyly, one other of their recent pieces, Peele’s Arraign- 
ment of Paris , was printed in 1584. Two former Children, 
Henry Eveseed and John Bull, afterwards well known as 
a musician, became Gentlemen on 30 November 1585 and in 
January 1586 respectively. 6 Absence from Court did not entail 
an absolute cessation of dramatic activities. Performances 
by the Children are recorded at Ipswich and Norwich in 
1586-7 and at Leicester before Michaelmas in 1591. There 
is, however, little to bear out the suggestion that the Chapel 

1 Feuillerat, Eliz. 470. Sapho and Phao might, however, have been 
the unnamed Chapel play of Shrove Tuesday (27 Feb.) 1582. 

2 Perhaps Lyly was still associated with him. F. S. Boas (M. L. R. 
vi. 92) records payments in connexion with a visit by Leicester to Christ 
Church, Oxford, to Mr. Lyly and his man for the loan of apparel, as well 
as one of £$ to one Tipslowe * for the Revels * (January 1585). 

3 Cf. supra (Paul's). 

4 I have no means of dating * The order of the show to be done at the 
Turret, entring into the parke at Grenewich, the musick being within the 
turrett ', which is preserved in Egerton MS. 2877, f. 182, as * acted before 
Q. Elizabeth \ A speech of forty lines beginning ‘ He Jove himselfe, that 
guides the golden spheare ’, was delivered by ‘ one of the biggest children 
of her Ma teB Chappell ’ as Goodwill, and was followed by a song beginning 
* Ye Helicon muses \ 

4 Rimbault, 4. A note of Anthony Wood's (cf D. N. B.) suggests that 
Bull joined the Chapel about 1572. 



THE BOY COMPANIES 


4i 


furnished the boys who played at Croydon, probably in 
the archbishop’s palace, during the summers of 1592 and 
1593, other than the fact that the author of the play produced 
in 1593, Summer's Last Will and Testament , was Thomas 
Nashe, who was also part author with Marlowe of Dido, one 
of two plays printed as Chapel plays in 1594. The extant 
text of the other play, The Wars of Cyrus , seems to be datable 
between 1587 and 1594. Hunnis died on 6 June 1597, and on 
9 June 1597 Nathaniel Giles, ‘ being before extraordinary ’, 
was sworn as a regular Gentleman of the Chapel and Master 
of the Children. Giles, like parrant, came ‘ from Winsore *. 
Born about 1559, he was educated at Magdalen College, 
Oxford, and was appointed Clerk in St. George’s Chapel, 
Windsor, and Master of the Children on 1 October 1595. He 
earned a considerable reputation as a musician, and died 
in possession of both Masterships at the age of seventy-five on 
24 January 1634. 1 His patent of appointment to the Chapel 
Royal is dated 14 July and his commission 15 July 1597. 2 
They closely follow in terms those granted to Hunnis. 3 

Three years later the theatrical enterprise which had been 
dropped in 1584 was renewed by Giles, in co-operation with 
Henry Evans, who had been associated with its final stages. 
The locality chosen was again the Blackfriars, in the building 
reconstructed by James Burbadge in 1596, and then inhibited, 
on a petition of the inhabitants, from use as a public play- 
house. Of this, being 4 then or late in the tenure or occupacion 
of ’ Henry Evans, Richard Burbadge gave him on 2 September 
1600 a lease for twenty-one years from the following Michael- 

1 Ashmole, Antiquities of Berks (ed. 1723), iii. 172, from tombstone at 
St. George’s, Windsor. The inscription gives him 49 years as Master 
at Windsor, in error for 39. A second stone described as also his by 
Ashmole is clearly his wife's. 

2 Wallace, ii. 59, prints both from the Privy Seals of 2 and 3 July in 
the R. O. The appointment is enrolled in Patent Rolls, 39 Eliz. p. 12, 
and the commission in Patent Rolls, 39 Eliz. p. 9, m. 7 dor so. The appoint- 
ment is for life, the commission not so specified, and therefore during 
pleasure only. 

8 The operative words of the appointment are ‘ pro nobis heredibus 
et successoribus nostris damus et concedimus dilecto seruienti nostro 
Nathanieli Giles officium Magistri puerorum Capellae nostrae Regiae . . . 

habendum . . . durante vita sua naturali Damus etiam . , . praefato 
Nathanieli Giles vada siue feoda quadraginta librarum sterling percipienda 
annuatim . . . pro eruditione duodecem puerorum eiusdem Capellae nostrae 
ac pro eorum conveniente exhibitione vestiturae et lectuarii . . . vnacum 
omnibus et omnimodis aliis vadis feodis proficubus iurisdiccionibus auctho- 
ritate priuilegiis commoditatibus regardis et aduantagiis quibuscunque 
eodem officio quoquo modo debitis . . . ac . . . praedicto Nathanieli Giles 
locum siue officium illud vnius generosorum nostrorum dictae Capellae 
nostrae Regiae . . . vnacum feodo seu annuali redditu triginta librarum . . .' 



42 


THE COMPANIES 


mas at a rent of £40.* According to Burbadge’s own account 
of the matter, Evans 4 intended then presentlye to erect or 
sett vp a companye of boyes ... in the same ’, and knowing 
that the payment of the rent depended upon the possibility 
of maintaining a company 4 to playe playes and interludes 
in the said Playhowse in such sort as before tyme had bene 
there vsed ’, he thought it desirable to take collateral security 
in the form of a bond for £400 from Evans and his son-in-law 
Alexander Hawkins. 2 Long after, the Blackfriars Sharers 
Papers of 1635 describe the lease as being to 4 one Evans 
that first sett vp the boyes commonly called the Queenes 
Majesties Children of the Chapell ’. 3 I find nothing in this 
language to bear out the contention of Professor Wallace 
that Evans’s occupation of the Blackfriars extended back 
long before the date of his lease, and that, as already suggested 
by Mr. Fleay, the Chapel plays began again, not in 1600, but 
in 1597. 4 Burbadge speaks clearly of the setting up of the 
company as still an intention when the lease was drawn, 
and the reference to earlier plays in the house may either be 
to some use of it unknown to us between 1596 and 1600, 
or perhaps more probably to the performances by Evans 
and others before the time of James Burbadge’s reconstruc- 
tion. Mr. Fleay’s suggestion rested, so far as I can judge, 
upon the evidence for the existence of Jonson’s Case is Altered 
as early as January 1599 and its publication as 4 acted by 
the children of the Blacke-friers \ But this publication was 
not until 1609 and represents a revision made not long before 
that date ; and as will be seen the company did not use the 
name Children of the Blackfriars until about 1606. There is 
no reason to suppose that they were the original producers 
of the play. A confirmatory indication for 1600 as the date 
of the revival may be found in the appearance of the Chapel 
at Court, for the first time since 1584, on 6 January and 
22 February 1601. On both occasions Nathaniel Giles was 
payee. The performance of 6 January, described by the 
Treasurer of the Chamber as 4 a showe with musycke and 
speciall songes ’ ^as probably Jonson’s Cynthia's Revels , 

1 E . v . K. 2 11 ; K. v. P. 22 4, 230, 233 (misdated 44 Eliz. for 42 Eliz.), 
239. These are only short recitals in the lawsuits. Apparently the 
fragmentary descriptions of the theatre in Wallace, ii. 39, 40, 41, 43, 49, 
are from a fuller Latin text of the terms of the lease, possibly recited in 
a common-law suit, which he has not printed in full. 

8 K. v. P. 230, 234. 3 Halliwell-Phillipps, i. 317. 

4 Fleay, 124, 153; Wallace, ii. 56; cf. M. L. R. iv. 156. An initial 
date for the enterprise in 1600 fits in exactly with the seven years during 
which there had been plays at the house where K.B. P. was produced 
and the ten years’ training of Keysar’s company up to 1610 (cf. p. 57). 



THE BOY COMPANIES 


43 


which that description well fits ; that of 22 February may 
have been the anonymous Contention between Liberality and 
Prodigality . Both of these were published in 1601. Jonson 
has preserved for us in his Folio of 1616 the list of the principal 
actors of Cynthia's Revels ) who were 4 Nat. Field, Sal. Pavy, 
Tho. Day, Ioh. Underwood, Rob. Baxter and Ioh. Frost \ 
The induction of the play is spoken by 4 Iacke ’ and two other 
of the Children, of whom one, impersonating a spectator, 
complains that 4 the vmbrae, or ghosts of some three or foure 
playes, departed a dozen yeeres since, haue bin seene walking 
on your stage heere *. Liberality and Prodigality may be one 
of the old-fashioned plays here scoffed at, but it is probable 
that Jonson also had in mind Lyly’s Love's Metamorphosis , 
which was published in 1601 as 4 first playd by the Children 
of Paules, and now by the Children of the Chappell ’, and there 
may have been other revivals of the same kind. The company 
was included in the Lenten prohibition of 11 March 1601. 
Later in the year they produced Jonson’s Poetaster , containing 
raillery of the common stages, which stimulated a reply in 
Dekker’s Satiromastix } and which, together with their 
growing popularity, sufficiently explains the reference to the 
4 aerie of children, little eyases ’ in Hamlet . 1 The Poetaster 
was published in 1602 and the actor-list of the Folio of 1616 
contains the names of 4 Nat. Field, Sal Pavy, Tho. Day, Ioh. 
Underwood, Wil. Ostler and Tho. Marton \ The full name of 
Pavy, who died after acting for three years, is given as 
Salathiel in the epigram written to his memory by Jonson ; 
it appears as Salmon in a document which adds considerably 
to our knowledge both of the original constitution of the 
company and of the lines on which it was managed. This is 
a complaint to the Star Chamber by one Henry Clifton, Esq., 
of Toftrees, Norfolk, against a serious abuse of the powers 
of impressment entrusted under the royal commission to 
Nathaniel Giles. 2 Clifton alleged that Giles, in confederacy 
with Evans, one James Robinson and others, had set up 
a play-house for their own profit in the Blackfriars, and under 
colour of the commission had taken boys* not for the royal 
service in the Chapel Royal, but employment in acting 
interludes. He specified as so taken, 4 John Chappell, a 
gramer schole scholler of one Mr. Spykes schole neere Criple- 
gate, London ; John Motteram, a gramer scholler in the free 
schole at Westmi[n]ster ; Nathan ffield, a scholler of a gramer 

1 Cf. ch. xi. 

* Fleay, 127. Burn, 152, notes from Bodl. Tanner MS. 300 that among 
the misdemeanours punished in the Star Chamber was * Taking up a gentle- 
man’s son to be a stage player \ 



44 


THE COMPANIES 


schole in London, kepte by one Mr. Monkaster; Alvery 
Trussell, an apprentice to one Thomas Gyles; one Phillipp 
Pykman and Thomas Grymes, apprentices to Richard and 
Georg Chambers ; Salmon Pavey, apprentice to one Peerce \ 
These were all children ‘ noe way able or fitt for singing, 
nor by anie the sayd confederates endevoured to be taught 
to singe \ Finally they had made an attempt upon Clifton’s 
own son Thomas, a boy of thirteen, who had been seized by 
Robinson in Christ Church cloister on or about 13 December 
1600, as he went from Clifton’s house in Great St. Bartholo- 
mew’s to the grammar school at Christ Church, and carried 
off to the play-house ‘ to exercyse the base trade of a mercynary 
enterlude player, to his vtter losse of tyme, ruyne and disparag- 
ment Clifton went to the Blackfriars, where his son was 
4 amongste a companie of lewde and dissolute mercenary 
players *, and made a protest ; but Giles, Robinson, and 
Evans replied that 4 yf the Queene would not beare them 
furth in that accion, she should gett another to execute her 
comission for them that 4 they had aucthoritie sufficient 
soe to take any noble mans sonne in this land ’, and that 
4 were yt not for the benefitt they made by the sayd play 
howse, whoe would, should serve the Chappell with children 
for them ’. Then they committed Thomas Clifton to the 
charge of Evans in his father’s presence, with a threat of 
a whipping if he was not obedient, and 4 did then and there 
deliuer vnto his sayd sonne, in moste scornefull disdaynfull 
and dispightfull manner, a scrolle of paper, conteyning parte 
of one of theire sayd playes or enterludes, and him, the sayd 
Thomas Clifton, comaunded to learne the same by harte ’. 
Clifton appealed to Sir John Fortescue and got a warrant 
from him for the boy’s release after a day and a night’s 
durance. It was not, however, until a year later, on 15 Decem- 
ber 1601, that he made his complaint. 1 During the following 
Christmas Giles brought the boys to Court on 6 and 10 January 
and 14 February 1602, and then with the hearing of the 
case in the Star Chamber during Hilary Term troubles began 
for the syndicate/ Evans was censured 4 for his vnorderlie 

1 Wallace, ii. 84, gives the endorsed date omitted by Greenstreet and 
Fleay, as ‘ Marti decimo quinto Decembris Anno xliiij Elizabeth Regine ' ; 
the date set down for trial is indicated as 1 p Octab Hillar \ This agrees 
with the time indication of the offence in the complaint itself as ‘ about 
one yere last past, and since your maiesties last free and generall pardon \ 
The pardon referred to must be that of 1 597-8 (59 Eliz . c. 28 ; cf. R. 0 . 
Statutes , iv. 952). There was another passed by the Parliament of 1601 
(43 Eliz. c. 19 ; cf. Statutes , iv. 1010) for ail offences prior to 7 Aug. 1601, 
but presumably this was not yet law when the complaint was drawn. The 
Parliament sat to 19 December. Clifton, however, was only just in time. 



THE BOY COMPANIES 


45 


carriage and behauiour in takinge vp of gentlemens childeren 
against theire wills and to ymploy them for players and for 
other misdemeanors ’, and it was decreed that all assurances 
made to him concerning the play-house or plays should be 
void and should be delivered up to be cancelled. 1 Evans, 
however, had apparently prepared himself against this con- 
tingency by assigning his lease to his son-in-law Alexander 
Hawkins on 21 October 1601. This at least is one explana- 
tion of a somewhat obscure transaction. According to -Evans 
himself, the assignment was to protect Hawkins from any 
risk upon the bond given to Burbadge. On the other hand, 
there had already been negotiations for the sale of a half 
interest in the undertaking to three new partners, Edward 
Kirkham, William Rastall, and Thomas Kendall, and it 
was claimed later by Kirkham that the assignment to Hawkins 
had been in trust to reassign a moiety to these three, in return 
for a contribution of capital variously stated at from £300 
to £600. No such reassignment was, however, carried out. 2 
But although the lease from Burbadge was certainly not 
cancelled as a result of the Star Chamber decree, it probably 
did seem prudent that the original managers of the theatre 
should remain in the background for a time. Nothing more 
is heard of James Robinson, while the partnership between 
Evans and Hawkins on the one side and Kirkham, Rastall, 
and Kendall on the other was brought into operation under 
articles dated on 20 April 1602. For the observance of these 
Evans and Hawkins gave a bond of £2oo. 3 Kirkham, Rastall, 
and Kendall in turn gave Evans a bond of £50 as security 

1 K. v. P. 248. The date is recited as ‘ in or about the three and 
ffortieth yeare ’ of Elizabeth, i.e. 1 600-1, which is not exact. The reference 
can hardly be to any other than the Clifton affair. No Chancery docu- 
ments in the case, other than the complaint, are known. It may be 
presumed that censure fell on Giles and Robinson, as well as Evans, but 
they were not concerned in K. v. P, Evans, of course, was technically 
acting as deputy to Giles under his commission, and Wallace, ii. 71, is 
not justified in citing the case as evidence that * These powers to Giles 
were supplemented by official concessions to Henry Evans that enabled 
him to rent the Blackfriars theatre and train the Queen’s Children of the 
Chapel there, with remunerative privileges 

3 K. v. P. 224, 230, 236, 242, 244, 248, 250. 

3 E . v. K. 21 1, 216 ; K. v. P. 237, 240, 245. These are recitals. Wallace, 
ii. 91, says that he has found two copies of the original bond, but the 
text he prints adds nothing to K . v. P. 240. Clearly he is wrong in 
describing it as ‘ containing the Articles of Agreement \ That was a much 
more detailed document, which Evans unfortunately thought so * long 
and tedious ' that he did not insert it at large in his Answer in K . v. P. 
It was doubtless analogous to the King’s Revels Articles of 1608 (cf. infra). 
It provided for the rights of the partners to the use of rooms (E. v. K. 21 1) 
and presumably for the division of profits ( K . v. P. 237). 



46 


THE COMPANIES 


for a weejkly payment of 8 s. f 4 because after the said agree- 
ments made, the complainant [Kirkham] and his said 
parteners would at their directions haue the dieting and order- 
ing of the boyes vsed about the plaies there, which before the 
said complainant had, and for the which he had weekely 
before that disbursed and allowed great sommes of monie*. 1 

Of the new managers, Rastall was a merchant and Kendall 
a haberdasher, both of London. 2 Kirkham has generally been 
assumed to be the Yeoman of the Revels, but of this there 
is not, so far as I know, any definite proof. The association 
did not prove an harmonious one. According to Evans, 
Kirkham and his fellows made false information against him 
to the Lord Chamberlain, as a result of which he was 
4 comaunded by his Lordship to avoyd and leave the same *, 
had to quit the country, and lost nearly £300 by the charge 
he was put to and the negligence of Hawkins in looking after 
his profits. 3 This seems to have been in May 1602. Mean- 
while the performances continued. The company did not 
appear at Court during the winter of 1602-3, but Sir Giles 
Goosecap and possibly Chapman’s Gentleman Usher were 
produced by them before the end of Elizabeth’s reign ; and 
on 18 September 1602 a visit was paid to the theatre by 
Philipp Julius, Duke of Stettin-Pomerania, of which the 
following account is preserved in the journal of Frederic 
Gerschow, a member of his suite : 4 

4 Von dannen sind wir auf die Kinder-comoediam gangen, welche 
im Argument iudiciret eine castam viduam, war eine historia einer 
koniglichen Wittwe aus Engellandt. Es hat aber mit dieser Kinder- 
comoedia die Gelegenheit : die Konigin halt viel junger Knaben, die 
sich der Singekunst mit Ernst befleissigen miissen und auf alien 
Instrumenten lemen, auch dabenebenst studiereri. Diese Knaben 

1 K . v. P. 244. Wallace, ii. 102, adds the actual terms of the bond. 
He takes Evans’s explanation to mean that hitherto Evans had maintained 
the boys and the plays out of official funds supplied through Kirkham 
as Yeoman of the Revels, but that now Evans's name was to be kept out 
of the business, and disbursements made by his partners, who were to 
pay him 8s. a week as a kind of steward. I cannot suppose that Kirkham 
had been the channel of any official subvention, and, on the whole, think 
it probable that the second ‘ compl* ’ in the extract from the pleading 
is an error for * deft \ This leaves it not wholly clear why Evans should 
allege his relief from great weekly disbursements as a reason for receiving 
8s. a week; but if we had the Articles of Agreement, the point would 
probably be clear. Possibly Evans had in the past made the equivalent 
of a weekly sum of 8s. out of board-wages passed on to him by Giles. 

2 Wallace, ii. 88. 

3 E. V. K. 213, 217, 220. 

4 G. von Bulow and W. Powell in R. H . S. Trans, vi. 26 ; Wallace, 
ii. 105 ; with translations. 



THE BOY COMPANIES 47 

■> 

haben ihrc besondere praeceptores in alien Kunsten, insonderheit sehr 
gute musicos. 

' Damit sie nun hofliche Sitten anwenden, ist ihnen aufgelegt, 
wochentlich eine comoedia zu agiren, wozu ihnen denn die Kdnigin 
ein sonderlich theatrum erbauet und mit kostlichen Kleidem zum 
Ueberfluss versorget hat. Wer solcher Action zusehen will, muss so 
gut als unserer Miinze acht sundische Schillinge geben, und findet sich 
doch stets viel Volks auch viele ehrbare Frauens, weil nutze argu- 
menta und viele schone Lehren, als von andem berichtet, sollen 
tractiret werden ; alle bey Lichte agiret, welches ein gross Ansehen 
macht. Eine ganze Stunde vorher horet man eine kostliche musicam 
instrumentalem von Orgeln, Lauten, Pandoren, Mandoren, Geigen 
und Pfeiffen, wie denn damahlen ein Knabe cum voce tremula in 
einer Basgeigen so lieblich gesungen, dass wo es die Nonnen zu Mailand 
ihnen nicht vorgethan, wir seines Gleichen auf der Reise nicht gehoret 
hatten.’ 

This report of a foreigner must not be pressed as if it were 
precise evidence upon the business organization of the Black- 
friars. Yet it forms the main basis of the theory propounded 
by Professor Wallace that Elizabeth personally financed the 
Chapel plays and personally directed the limitation of the 
number of adult companies allowed to perform in London, 
as part of a deliberate scheme of reform, which her ‘ definite 
notion of what the theatre should be * had led her to plan — 
a theory which, I fear, makes his Children of the Chapel at 
Blackfriars misleading, in spite of its value as a review of 
the available evidence, old and new, about the company. 1 
Professor Wallace supposes that Edward Kirkham, acting 
officially as Yeoman of the Revels, was Elizabeth’s agent, 
and that, even before he became a partner in the syndicate, 
he dieted the boys and supplied them with the ‘ kostlichen 
Kleidern zum Ueberfluss * mentioned by Gerschow, account- 
ing for the expenditure either through the Revels Accounts 
or through some other unspecified accounts 4 yet to be 
discovered \ 2 Certainly no such expenditure appeared in 
the Revels Accounts, and no other official account with 
which Kirkham was concerned is known. It may be pointed 
out that, if we took Gerschow’s account as authoritative, we 
should have to suppose that Elizabeth provided the theatre 
building, which we know she did not, and I think it may be 
taken for granted that her payments for the Chapel were no 
more than those with which we are already quite familiar, 
namely the Master’s fee of £ 40 1 pro exhibicione puerorum ’, 
the board-wages of 6 d. a day for each of twelve children, 

1 Wallace, ii. 126, summarizes his theory ; cf. my review in M. L. R , 
v, 224. 1 Wallace, ii. 99. 



48 


THE COMPANIES 


possibly the breakfast allowance of £16 a year and the largess 
of £9 13s. 4 d. for high feasts, and the occasional rewards for 
actual performances. None of these, of course, passed through 
the Revels Office, and although this office may, as in the past, 
have helped to furnish the actual plays at Court, the cost of 
exercising in public remained a speculation of the Master and 
his backers, who had to look for recoupment and any possible 
profits to the sums received from spectators. If it is true, 
as Gerschow seems to say, that performances were only given 
on Saturdays, the high entrance charge of is. is fully explained. 
The lawsuits, of course, bear full evidence to the expenditure 
by the members of the syndicate upon the 4 setting forward ’ 
of plays. 1 Nor is there any ground for asserting, as Professor 
Wallace does, that there were two distinct sets of children, 
one lodged in or near the palace for chapel purposes proper, 
and the other kept at the Blackfriars for plays. 2 It is true that 
Clifton charged Giles with impressing boys who could hot 
sing, but Gerschow’s account proves that there were others 
at the Blackfriars who could sing well enough, and it would 
be absurd to suppose that there was one trained choir for the 
stage and another for divine service. Doubtless, however, 
the needs of the theatre made it necessary to employ, by agree- 
ment or impressment, a larger number of boys than the twelve 
borne on the official establishment. 3 And that boys whose 
voices had broken were retained in the theatrical company 
may be inferred from the report about 1602 that the Dowager 
Countess of Leicester had married 4 one of the playing boyes 
of the chappell \ 4 I cannot, finally, agree with Professor 
Wallace in assuming that the play attended by Elizabeth at 
the Blackfriars on 29 December 1601 was necessarily a public 
one at the theatre ; much less that it was 4 only one in 
a series of such attendances She had dined with Lord 
Hunsdon at his house in the Blackfriars. The play may have 
been in his great chamber, or he may have borrowed the 
theatre next door for private use on an off-day. And the 
actors may even more probably have been his own company 
than the Chapel boys. 5 

The appointment of a new Lord Chamberlain by James I 
seems to have enabled Evans to return to England. He found 

1 E . v. K. 217 ; K. v. P. 224, 227, 229, 231, 236, 248. 

2 Wallace, ii. 73. 

8 Wallace, ii. 75, shows that the Blackfriars repertory would require 
twenty or twenty-five actors. 4 Gawdy, 117. 

5 Wallace, ii. 95. Dudley Carleton wrote to John Chamberlain on 
29 Dec. 1601 (S. P. D. Eliz. cclxxxii. 48), * The Q: dined this day priuatly 
at my L d Chamberlains ; I came euen now from the blackfriers where 
I saw her at the play with all her candidae auditrices * ; cf. M . L. R. ii. 12. 



THE BOY COMPANIES 


49 


theatrical affairs in a bad way, owing to the plague of 1603, 
and * speach and treatie ’ arose between him and Burbadge 
about a possible surrender of his lease. 1 By December, 
however, things looked brighter. Evans did some repairs to 
the Blackfriars, and the enterprise continued. 2 Like the adult 
companies, the partners secured direct royal protection under 
the following patent of 4 February 1604 : 3 


^ ... ~ , lames by the grace of God &c. To 

£ •» Sh # fe •»*•« 

le Revell domine Regine. Baliffes Constables and to all other our 

officers mynisters and lovinge Subiectes 
to whome theis presentes shall come, greeting. Whereas the Queene 
our deerest wief hath for her pleasure and recreacon when she shall 
thinke it fit to have any playes or shewes appoynted her servauntes 
Edward Kirkham Alexander Hawkyns Thomas Kendall and Robert 
Payne to provyde and bring vppe a convenient nomber of Children, 
whoe shalbe called children of her Revelles, knowe ye that we have 
appointed and authorized and by theis presentes doe authorize and 
appoynte the said Edward Kirkham Alexander Hawkins Thomas 
Kendall and Robert Payne from tyme to tyme to provide keepe and 
bring vppe a convenient nomber of Children, and them to practize and 
exercise in the quality of playinge by the name of Children of the 
Revells to the Queene within the Blackfryers in our Cytie of London, 
or in any other convenient place where they shall thinke fit for that 
purpose. Wherefore we will and commaunde [you] and everie of you 
to whome it shall appertayne to permytt her said Seruauntes to keepe 
a convenient nomber of Children by the name of Children of her 
Revells and them to exercise in the quality of playing according to 
her pleasure. Provided allwaies that noe such Playes or Shewes 
shalbee presented before the said Queene our wief by the said Children 
or by them any where publiquelie acted but by the approbation and 
allowaunce of Samuell Danyell, whome her pleasure is to appoynt for 
that purpose. And theis our lettres Patentes shalbe your sufficient 
warraunte in this behalfe. In witnes whereof &c., witnes our self at 
Westminster the fourth day of February. 

per breve de priuato sigillo &c. 


Apparently it was still thought better to keep the name of 
Evans out of the patent, and he was represented by Hawkins ; 
of the nature of Payne’s connexion with the company I know 

1 K. v. P. 235. 

3 Wallace, ii. 89, says that Evans paid ^11 os. 2d. for repairs on 
8 Dec. 1603. 

3 M. S. C. i. 267, from Patent Roll, 1 Jac. I, pt. 8. Collier, i. 340, and 
Hazlitt, E. D. S. 40, print the signet bill, the former dating it 30 Jin. 
and the latter 31 Jan., and misdescribe it as a privy seal. Collier, N . F. 48, 
printed a forged letter from Daniel to Sir T. Egerton (cf. Ingleby, 244, 
247) intended to suggest that Drayton, and perhaps also Shakespeare, 
had coveted his post. 

2249-2 


E 



5 * 


THE COMPANIES 


nothing. The adoption of the name of Children of the 
Qqeen’s Revels should perhaps be taken as indicating that, 
as the boy-actors grew older, the original connexion with the 
Chapel became loosen The use of Giles’s commission as 
a method of obtaining recruits was probably abandoned, and 
there is no evidence that he had any further personal associa- 
tion with the theatre. 1 The commission itself was, however, 
renewed on 13 September 1604, with a new provision for the 
further education of boys whose voices had changed ; 2 and 
in December Giles was successful in getting the board-wages 
allowed for his charges raised from 6 d. to iod. a day. 8 

The Revels children started gaily on the new phase of their 
career, and the Hamlet allusion is echoed in Middleton’s 
advice to a gallant, * if his humour so serve him, to call in 
at the Blackfriars, where he should see a nest of boys able 
to ravish a man*. 4 They were at Court on 21 February 1604 
and on 1 and 3 January 1605. Their payees were Kirkham 
for the first year and Evans and Daniel for the second. 
Evidently Daniel was taking a more active part in the manage- 
ment than that of a mere licenser. Their play of 1 January 
1605 was Chapman’s All Fools (1605), and to 1603-5 may also 
be assigned his Monsieur d'Olive (1606), and possibly his 
Bussy d'Ambois (1607), and Day’s Law Tricks (1608). I ven- 
ture to conjecture that the boys’ companies were much 
more under the influence of their poets than were their adult 
rivals ; it is noteworthy that plays written for them got pub- 
lished much more rapidly than the King’s or Prince’s men 
ever permitted. 6 And it is known that one poet, who now 
began for the first time to work for the Blackfriars, acquired 
a financial interest in the undertaking. This was John Marston, 
to whom Evans parted, at an unspecified date, with a third 
of the moiety which the arrangement of 1602 had left on his 
hands.* Marston’s earliest contributions were probably The 
Malcontent (1604) and The Dutch Courtesan (1605). From 

1 Wallace, ii. 80, mentions a case of the employment of a boy at the 
Blackfriars during James’s reign under a contract with his mother. 

• Af. S. C. i. 359. On 7 Oct. 1605 the Wardrobe provided holland for 
shirts for the 12 children and ( for James Cutler, a Chappell boy gone 
off * (Lafontaine, 46, from L. C. 804). 

• Rimbault, 60 ; Stowe, Annates (ed. Howes), 1037. An order of 
17 July 1604 (H. O. 301) continued the allowance of an increase of meat 
at festival times which the children had presumably enjoyed under 
Elizabeth. 

4 Middleton, Father Hubbard* s Tales {Works, viii. 64, 77). A reference 
in the same book to an ant as ' this small actor in less than decimo sexto ' 
recalls the jest in the Induction to the Malcontent at the boys who played 
Jeronimo 4 in decimo sexto \ 

• Cf. ch. xi. 6 K. v. B. 340. 



THE BOY COMPANIES 


51 


the induction to the Malcontent we learn that it was appro- 
priated by the King’s men, in return for the performance by 
the boys of a play on Jeronimo, perhaps the extant I Jeronimo , 
in which the King’s claimed rights. Marston’s satirical temper 
did not, however, prove altogether an asset to the company ; 
and I fear that the deference of its directors to literary 
suggestions was not compatible with that practical political 
sense, which as a rule enabled the professional players to 
escape conflicts with authority. The history of the next few 
years is one of a series of indiscretions, which render it rather 
surprising that the company should throughout have suc- 
ceeded in maintaining its vitality, even with the help of con- 
stant reconstructions of management and changes of name. 
The first trouble, the nature of which is unknown, appears 
to have been caused by Marston’s Dutch Courtesan . Then 
came, ironically enough, the Philotas of the company’s official 
censor, Samuel Daniel. Then, in 1605, the serious affair 
of Eastward Ho! for which Marston appears to have been 
mainly responsible, although he saved himself by flight, 
whereas his fellow authors, Jonson and Chapman, found them- 
selves in prison and in imminent danger of losing their ears. 1 
I do not think that the scandal arose on the performance of the 
play, but on its publication in the late autumn. 2 The com- 
pany did not appear at Court during the winter of 1605-6, 
but the ingenious Kirkham seems to have succeeded in trans- 
ferring one of its new plays, Marston’s Fawn } and possibly 
also Bussy D'Ambois , to Paul’s, and appeared triumphantly 
before the Treasurer of the Chamber’s paymaster the follow- 
ing spring as 4 one of the Masters of the Children of Pawles 
Meanwhile the Blackfriars company went on acting, but it 
is to be inferred from the title-pages of its next group of plays, 
Marston’s Sophonisba (1606), Sharpham’s The Fleir (1607), 
and Day’s Isle of Gulls (1606), that its misdemeanour had cost 
it the direct patronage of the Queen, and that it was now only 
entitled to call itself, not Children of the Queen’s Revels, but 
Children of the Revels. 3 Possibly the change of name also 

1 Cf. ch. xxiii, s.v. plays named. 

2 Kirkham and Kendall were still associated in Aug. 1605, when apparel 

and properties were obtained from them for the plays at James's visit to 
Oxford (M. 5 . C. i. 247). There was a performance at the Blackfriars 
as late as 16 June 1605 (Wallace, ii. 125), a date connected with a dispute 
in settlement of which Kirkham’s bond of ^50 to Evans was exchanged 
for a new one to Hawkins (K. v. P. 244). 

* Cf. M. L. /?. iv. 159. The t.p. of Sophonisba only specifies performance 
* at the Blackfriars ' ; those of The Fleir and The Isle of Gulls * by the 
Children of the Revels at the Blackfriars \ Probably the * Children of 
the Revels * of the t.p. of Day’s Law Tricks (1608) is also the Blackfriars 



S z 


THE COMPANIES 


indicates that thereafter, not Daniel, but the Master of the 
Revels, acted as its censor. Anne herself, by the way, must 
have felt the snub, for it was probably at the Blackfriars 
that, if the French ambassador may be trusted, she had 
attended representations ‘ to enjoy the laugh against her 
husband \ 1 The alias, whatever it connoted, proved but an 
ephemeral one. By February 1606 one of the plays just 
named, the Isle of Gulls , had given a new offence. Some of 
those responsible for it were thrown into Bridewell, and a fresh 
reconstruction became imperative. 2 It was probably at this 
date that one Robert Keysar, a London goldsmith, came 
into the business. Kirkham, like Evans before him, discreetly 
retired from active management, and the Children, with 
Keysar as 4 interest with them ’, became 4 Masters them- 
selves *, taking the risks and paying the syndicate for the use 
of the hall. 8 Kirkham claims that under this arrangement 
the moiety of profits in which he had rights amounted to 
£150 a year, as against £100 a year previously earned. 4 Shortly 
afterwards the dissociation of the Chapel from the Black- 
friars was completed by a new commission issued to Giles 
on 7 November 1606, to which was added the following clause : 

' Prouided alwayes and wee doe straightlie charge and commaunde 
that none of the saide Choristers or Children of the Chappell so to be 
taken by force of this commission shalbe vsed or imployed as Comedians 
or Stage players, or to exercise or acte any Stage playes Interludes 
Comedies or tragedies, for that it is not fitt or decent that such as 
shoulde singe the praises of God Allmightie shoulde be trayned vpp 
or imployed in suche lascivious and prophane exercises.’ 6 

It is presumably to this pronouncement that Flecknoe refers 
in 1664, when he speaks of the Chapel theatre being converted 
to the use of the Children of the Revels, on account of the 
growing precision of the people and the growing licentiousness 

company. No theatre is named, but the play is too early for the King’s 
Revels, who, moreover, do not seem to be described on other t.ps. as 
‘ Children of the Revels * pure and simple. I take it that these t.p. 
descriptions follow the designations of the companies in use when the 
plays were last on the stage before publication, rather than those in use 
at the times of first production. 

1 Cf. ch. x. 2 Cf. ch. xxiii, s.v. Day. 

3 Keysar was certainly associated with Kendall by the Christmas of 
1606-7, when they supplied apparel and properties for the Westminster 
plays ; cf. Murray, ii. 169. 4 K. v. P. 249. 

• M, S. C. i. 362, from P. R. 0 ., Patent Roll , 4 James /, p. 18, dorso. 
Collier, i. 446, long ago noted the existence of a similar clause in a 
Caroline commission to Giles of 1626. It was probably the choristers 
who assisted in a quasi-dramatic performance on 16 July 1607, when 
James dined with the Merchant Taylors, and Giles received the freedom 
of the company in reward ; cf. ch. iv. 



THE BOY COMPANIES 53 

of plays. 1 It is, however, curious to observe that the aban« 
doned titles of the company tended to linger on in actual 
use. Evans in 1612 speaks of the syndicate as 4 the coparteners 
sharers, and Masters of the Queenes Maiesties Children of 
the Revells (for so yt was often called) ’ in 1608 ; 2 while the 
name Children of the Chapel is used in the Stationers’ Register 
entry of Your Five Gallants in 1608, at Maidstone in 1610, 
and even in such official documents as the Revels Accounts 
for 1604-5 and the Chamber Accounts for 1612-13. 

Under Keysar the name was Children of the Blackfriars. 
For a couple of years the company succeeded in keeping clear 
of further disaster. But on 29 March 1608 the French am- 
bassador, M. de la Boderie, reported that all the London 
theatres had been closed, and were now threatened by the 
King with a permanent inhibition on account of two plays 
which had given the greatest offence. 3 Against one of these, 
which dealt with the domestic affairs of the French king, he 
had himself lodged a protest, and his description leaves no 
doubt that this was one of the parts of Chapman’s Con- 
spiracy and Tragedy of Byron f which was published, without 
the offending scene, later in the year, as 4 acted at the Black- 
Friars \ The other play was a personal attack upon James 
himself. 4 Un jour ou deux devant ’, says La Boderie, 4 ilz 
avoient d6pech6 leur Roi, sa mine d’Escosse, et tous ses favorits 
d’une estrange sorte ; car apr6s luy avoir fait d^piter le ciel 
sur le vol d’un oyseau, et faict battre un gentilhomme pour 
avoir rompu ses chiens, ils le d^peignoient ivre pour le moins 
une fois le jour.’ This piece is not extant, but I have recently 
come across another allusion to it in a letter of 11 March 
1608 to Lord Salisbury from Sir Thomas Lake, a clerk of the 
signet in attendance upon the King at Thetford. 4 

4 His ma tic was well pleased with that which your lo. advertiseth 
concerning the committing of the players y fc have offended in y® 
matters of France, and commanded me to signifye to your lo. that for 
ye others who have offended in y e matter of ye Mynes and other lewd 
words, which is ye children of ye blackfriars, That though he had signi- 
fied his mynde to your lo, by my lo. of Mountgommery yet I should 

1 Cf. App. 1. 

2 E. v. K. 221 ; K. v. P. 246. 1 The Children of the Revells * who 

appeared at Leicester on 21 Aug. 1608 (Kelly, 248) might have been these 
boys, but might also have been the King's Revels, if the King's Revels 
were still in existence under that name, which is very doubtful. 

3 Cf. ch. xxiii, s.v. Chapman. 

4 5 . P. D. Jac. /, xxxi. 73. The mine was no doubt the silver mine 
discovered at Hilderston near Linlithgow in 1607, and worked as a royal 
enterprise with little success ; cf. R. W. Cochran-Patrick, Early Records 
relating to Mining in Scotland (1878), xxxvii. 116. 



54 


THE COMPANIES 


repe&te it again, That his G. had vowed they should never play more, 
but should first begg* their bred and he wold have his vow performed, 
And therefore my lo. chamberlain by himselfe or your 11 . at the table 
should take order to dissolve them, and to punish the maker 
besides.’ 


Sir Thomas Lake appears to have been under the impression 
that two companies were concerned, and that the ‘ matters 
of France * were not played by the Children of Blackfriars. 
If so, we must suppose that Byron was originally produced 
elsewhere, perhaps by the King’s Revels, and transferred to 
the Blackfriars after 1 reformation ’ by the Council. M. de la 
Boderie, however, writes as if the same company were 
responsible for both plays, and perhaps it is on the whole 
more probable that Sir Thomas Lake misunderstood the situa- 
tion. I feel very little doubt that the maker of the play on 
the mines was once more Marston, who was certainly sum- 
moned before the Privy Council and committed to Newgate, 
on some offence not specified in the extant record, on 8 June 
1608. 1 And this was probably the end of his stormy con- 
nexion with the stage. He disappeared from the Black- 
friars and from literary life, leaving The Insatiate Countess 
unfinished, and selling the share in the syndicate which he had 
acquired from Evans about 1603 to Robert Keysar for £100. 
Before making his purchase, Keysar, who tells us that he put 
a value of £600 on the whole of the enterprise, got an assur- 
ance, as he thought, from the King’s men that they would not 
come to any arrangement with Henry Evans which would 
prejudice his interests. 2 This the King’s men afterwards 
denied, and as a matter of fact the negotiations, tentatively 
opened as far back as 1603, between Evans and Burbadge 
for a surrender of the lease were now coming to a head, and 
its actual surrender took place about August 1608. 3 On the 
ninth of that month Burbadge executed fresh leases of the 
theatre to a new syndicate representing the King’s men. 4 
The circumstances leading up to Evans’s part in this trans- 
action became subsequently the subject of hostile criticism 
by Kirkham, who asserted that the lease, which Alexander 
Hawkins held in trust, had been stolen from his custody by 
Mrs. Evans, and that the surrender was effected with the 
fraudulent intention of excluding Kirkham from the profits 
to which he was entitled under the settlement of 1602. 6 
According to Evans, however, Kirkham was at least implicitly 

1 Cf. ch. xxiii. * K. v. B . 342. 

8 E. v. K. 222 ; K. v . P. 225, 231, 235, 246. 

4 Cl. ch. xvii (Blackfriars). 6 K. v. P. 225, 249. 



THE BOY COMPANIES 


55 


a consenting pa£ty, for it was be who, after the King’s inhibi- 
tion had brought the profits to an end, grew weary of the 
undertaking and initiated measures for winding it up. On 
or about 26 July 1608 he had had the ‘ apparells, properties 
and goods 1 of the syndicate appraised and an equitable 
division made. When some of the boys were committed to 
prison he had 4 said he would deale no more with yt, 14 for”, 
quoth he, 44 yt is a base thing ”, or vsed wordes to such, 
or very like effect \ And he had 4 delivered up their com- 
mission, which he had vnder the greate seale aucthorising 
them to plaie, and discharged divers of the partners and 
poetts In view of this, Evans claimed that he was fully 
justified in coming to terms with Burbadge. 1 

After all, the King’s anger proved only a flash in the pan. 
Perhaps the company travelled during the summer of 1608, 
if they, and not the King’s Revels, were 4 the Children of the 
Revells ’ rewarded at Leicester on 21 August. 2 But by the 
following Christmas they were in London, and with Keysar 
as their payee gave three plays at Court, where they had not 
put in an appearance since 1604-5. Two of these were on 
1 and 4 January 1609. As they still bore the name of Children 
of Blackfriars, they had presumably remained on sufferance 
in their old theatre, which the King’s men may not 
have been in a hurry to occupy during a plague-stricken 
period. 3 But when a new season opened in the autumn of 
1609, new quarters became necessary. These they found at 
Whitefriars, which had been vacated by the failure of the 
short-lived King’s Revels company, and it was as the Children 
of Whitefriars that Keysar brought them to Court for no less 
than five plays during the winter of 1609-10. He had now 
enlisted a partner in Philip Rosseter, one of the lutenists of 
the royal household, who carried out a scheme, with the 
co-operation of the King’s men, for buying off with a 4 dead 
rent ’ the possible competition of the Paul’s boys, who had 
closed their doors about 1606, but might at any moment open 

1 E. v. K. 221 ; K. v. P. 245. In the earlier suit Evans says that the 
royal prohibition was * vpon some misdemeanors committed in or about 
the plaies there, and specially vpon the defendants [Kirkham’s] acts and 
doings thereabout \ Unless Kirkham was more directly concerned in the 
management during 1608 than appears probable, Evans must be reflecting 
upon the whole series of misdemeanours since 1604. 

8 On 9 May John Browne, * one of the playe boyes ', was buried at 
St. Anne’s. 

8 K. v. B. 347, gives the date of surrender in 1610 as 1 about the tenth 
of August last past*. Probably a year’s sub-tenancy* under the King’s 
men explains the discrepancy with the * about August in the sixt year 
of his Maiesties raigne ’ of K. v. P . 2 35, and the confirmatory date of the 
King's men's leases. 



THE COMPANIES 


56 


them again. 1 More than this, through the influence of Sir 
Thomas Monson, Rosseter was successful in obtaining a new 
patent, dated on 4 January 1610, by which the Children once 
more became entitled to call themselves Children of the 
Queen’s Revels. 2 It ran as follows : 


De concessione Ro- 
berto Daborne & aliis. 


lames by the grace of God &c, To all Maiors 
Sheriffes Iustices of peace Bayliffes Constables 
and to all other our Officers Ministers and 


loving Subiects to whome theis presentes shall come Greeting. 
Whereas the Quene our deerest wyfe hathe for hir pleasure, and 
recreation, when shee shall thinke it fitt to haue any Playes or Shewes, 
appoynted hir servantes Robert Daborne, Phillippe Rosseter, Iohn 
Tarbock, Richard Iones, and Robert Browne to prouide and bring 
vpp a convenient nomber of Children whoe shalbe called Children of 
hir Revelles, knowe ye that wee haue appoynted and authorised, and 
by theis presentes do authorize and appoynte the said Robert Daborne, 
Phillipp Rosseter, Iohn Tarbuck, Richard Iones, and Robert Browne 
from tyme to tyme to provide keepe and bring vpp a convenient 
nomber of children, and them to practice and exercise in the quality 
of playing, by the name of Children of the Revells to the Queene, 
within the white ffryers in the Suburbs of our Citty of London, or in 
any other convenyent place where they shall thinke fitt for that 
purpose. Wherfore wee will and commaund you and euery of you to 
whome it shall appertayne to permitt her said seruants to keepe a con- 
uenient nomber of Children by the name of the Children of hir Revells, 
and them to exercise in the qualitye of playing according to hir pleasure, 
And theis our lettres patentes shalbe your sufficient warrant in this 
behaulfe. Wittnes our self at Westminster, the ffourth daye of 
Ianuary. 

per breve de priuato sigillo. 


Of the new syndicate Browne and Jones were old professional 
actors who had belonged to the Admiral's men a quarter of 
a century before, and had since been prominent, Brown in 
particular, as organizers of English companies for travel in 
Germany. Daborne was or became a playwright. Of Tarbock 
I know nothing ; he may have been a nominee of Keysar, 


1 Cf. ch. supra (Paul’s). K. v. B. 355 tells us that Rosseter was in 
partnership with Keysar. 

2 M. 5 . C. i. 271, from P. R., 7 Jac. I, p. 13. Ingleby, 254, gave the 
material part in discussing a forged draft by Collier (N. F. 41), in which 
the names of the patentees are given as * Robert Dai borne, William Shake- 
speare, Nathaniel Field and Edward Kirkham ’. A genuine note of the 
patent is in Sir Thomas Egerton’s note-book (N. F. 40). Ingleby adds 
that the signet office records (cf. Phillimore, 103) show that the warrant 
was obtained in Dec. 1609 by the influence of Monson. He was Anne’s 
household Chancellor and to him Rosseter and Campion dedicated their 
Book of Airs (1601) and Campion his Third Book of Airs (1617). 



THE BOY COMPANIES 57 

whose own name, perhaps for reasons of diplomacy, does not 
appear in the patent. He may, of course, have retired, but 
a lawsuit which he brought in 1610 suggests that his connexion 
with the company was not altogether broken. The White- 
friars had not the tradition of the Blackfriars, and Keysar 
was aggrieved at the surrender of the Blackfriars lease 
by Evans over his head. On 8 February 1610 he laid a bill 
in the Court of Requests against the housekeepers oP the 
King’s men, claiming a share in their profits since the date of 
surrender, which he estimated at £1,500, on the strength of 
the one-sixth interest in the lease assigned by Evans to 
Marston and by Marston to him. 1 He asserted that he had 
kept boys two years in the hope of playing 4 vpon the ceasing 
of the generall sicknes and had spent £500 on that and on 
making provision in the house, and had now, at a loss of £1,000, 
had to disperse 4 a companye of the moste exparte and skilful 
actors within the realme of England to the number of eighteane 
or twentye persons all or moste of them trayned vp in that 
service, in the raigne of the late Queene Elizabeth for ten 
yeares togeather and afterwardes preferred into her Maiesties 
service to be the Chilldren of her Revells \ 2 Burbadge and 
his fellows denied that they had made £1,500, or that they 
had attempted to defraud Keysar either about the surrender 
of the lease or, as he also alleged, the 4 dead rent * to Paul’s, 
and they pointed out that his losses were really due to the 
plague. He could recover his share of the theatrical stock from 
Evans. Evans had had no legal right to assign his interest 
under the lease. As only the pleadings in the case and not the 
depositions or the order of the court are extant, we do not 
know what Evans, who was to be a witness, had to say. 3 
The fact that one of the new Blackfriars leases of 1608 was 
to a Thomas Evans leaves the transaction between Henry 
Evans and Burbadge not altogether free from a suspicion 
of bad faith. Kirkham also found that he had been either 
hasty or outwitted in 1608, and as the deaths of Rastall and 
Kendall in that year had left him the sole claimant to any 
interest under the arrangement of 1602, he had recourse to 
litigation. In the course of 1611 and 1612 he brought a 
4 multiplicitie of suites ’ against Evans and Hawkins, and 
was finally non-suited in the King’s Bench. 4 Then, in May 
1612, Evans in his turn brought a Chancery action against 

1 K. v. B. 343. 2 K. v. B. 343, 350. 

8 Evans, Mrs. Evans, Field, Underwood, Ostler, Baxstead* Rosseter, 

Marston, and Mrs. Hawkins were to be examined for the King's men. 

4 E. v. K, 213. I presume that some of these are amongst the ‘ twelve 
additional suits ' which Wallace, ii. 36, claims to have found. 



THE COMPANIES 


58 

Kirkham, in the hope of getting his bond oi 1602 cancelled, 
and thus securing himself against any further persecution for 
petty breaches of the articles of agreement. The result of this 
ts unknown, but in the course of it many of the incidents of 
1600-8 were brought into question, and Kirkham claimed 
that not merely had Evans shut him out in 1604 from certain 
rooms in the Blackfriars which he was entitled to use, but 
thatfby the surrender of the lease in 1608 he had lost profits 
which he estimated at £60 a year. 1 Finally in July 1612 
Kirkham brought a Chancery action against Evans, Bur- 
badge, and John Heminges, and also against the widow of 
Alexander Hawkins and Edward Painton, to whom she was 
now married, for reinstatement in his moiety of the lease. 
In this suit much of the same ground was again traversed, 
but the Court refused to grant him any relief. 

It is not altogether easy to disentangle the plays produced 
at the Blackfriars under Keysar from those produced imme- 
diately afterwards at the Whitefriars. The only title-page 
which definitely names the Children of the Blackfriars is that 
of Jonson’s The Case is Altered (1609). But Chapman’s 
Byron (1608) and May Day (1611) and Middleton’s Your Five 
Gallants (n.d. ?i6o8) also claim to have been acted at the 
Blackfriars. The Q t of Middleton’s A Trick to Catch the Old 
One (1608) assigns it to Paul’s; the Qgboth to Paul’s and Black- 
friars, with an indication of a Court performance on New Year’s 
Day, which can only be that of 1 January 1609. This play, 
therefore, must have been taken over from Paul’s, when 
that house closed in 1606 or 1607. As Middleton is not 
generally found writing for Blackfriars, Your Five Gallants 
may have been acquired in the same way. It is also extremely 
likely that Chapman’s Bussy d'Ambois passed from Paul’s 
to Blackfriars on its way to the King’s men. No name of 
company or theatre is attached to Beaumont and Fletcher’s 
Knight of the Burning Pestle (1613) or to The Faithful 
Shepherdess (c. 1609). But the K . B. P . was published with 
an epistle to Keysar as its preserver and can be securely 
dated in 1607-8 ; it refers to the house in which it was played 
as having been open for seven years, which just fits the Black- 
friars. The Faithful Shepherdess is of 1608-9 and a boys’ 
play ; the commendatory verses by Field, Jonson, and Chap- 
man justify an attribution to the company with which they 
had to do. Chapman’s The Widow's Tears (1612) had been 
staged both at Blackfriars and at Whitefriars before publica- 
tion, and was probably therefore produced shortly before the 

1 E. v . K. 218. In K. v . P. 225, he put the total annual profits during 
1608-12 at £160. 



THE BOY COMPANIES 


59 


company moved house. The greatest difficulty is Jonson’s 
Epicoene (S.R. 20 September 1610). No edition is known to 
be extant earlier than the Folio of 1616, in which Jonson 
ascribed the production to 4 1609 1 and to the Children of the 
Revels. According to the system of dating ordinarily adopted 
by Jonson in this Folio, 4 1609 * should mean 1609 and not 
1609-10. Yet the Children were not entitled to call them- 
selves 4 of the Revels * during 1609. Either Jonson’s chrono- 
logy or his memory of the shifting nomenclature of the com- 
pany has slipped. The actor-list of Epicoene names 4 Nat. 
Field, Gil. Carie, Hug. Attawel, Ioh. Smith, Will. Barksted, 
Will. Pen, Ric. Allin, Ioh. Blaney \ Amongst these Field 
is the sole direct connecting link with the Chapel actor-lists 
of 1600 and 1601. Keysar’s pleading shows us that from 
1600 to 1610 the company had maintained a substantial 
identity throughout all its phases, as successively Children 
of the Chapel, Children of the Queen’s Revels, Children of the 
Blackfriars, Children of the Whitefriars ; but part of his 
grievance is its dispersal, and possibly the continuity with 
the second Children of the Revels may not have been quite 
so marked. * In processe of time ’, say the Burbadges in the 
Blackfriars Sharers Papers of 1635, ‘ the boyes growing up 
to bee men, which were Underwood, Field, Ostler, and were 
taken to strengthen the King’s service \ 1 This, which is 
written in relation to the acquisition of the Blackfriars, is 
doubtless accurate as regards Ostler and Underwood, and 
their transfer may reasonably be placed in the winter of 1609- 
10. But it was not until some years later that Field joined 
the King’s men. 

The career of the second Queen’s Revels, but for the tem- 
porary suppression of Epicoene owing to a misconstruction 
placed on it by Arabella Stuart, was comparatively uneventful. 
They are recorded at Maidstone as the Children of the Chapel 
about March 1610. They made no appearance at Court during 
the following winter, and were again travelling in the following 
autumn, when they came to Norwich under the leadership 
of one Ralph Reeve, who showed the patent of 4 January 1610, 
and at first claimed to be Rosseter, but afterwards admitted 
that he was not. As he could show no letters of deputation, 
he was not allowed to play, although he received a reward 
on the following day, which was recorded, not quite correctly, 
as paid to 4 the master of the children of the King’s Revells ’. 
By 29 August Barksted and Carey had left the company to 

1 Halliwell-Phillipps, i. 317; cf. Hist . Hist. 416 (App. I), 'Some of 
the chapel boys, when they grew men. became actors at the Blackfriars ; 
such were Nathan Field and John Underwood \ 



6o 


THE COMPANIES 


join the newly formed Lady Elizabeth’s men. We may 
therefore place at some time before this date Barksted’s 
completion of Marston’s Insatiate Counte$s } which was pub- 
lished in 1613 as 1 acted at Whitefriars \ The entry in the 
Stationer’s Register of Field’s A Woman is a Weathercock 
(1612) on 23 November 1611 shows that he also had begun 
to experiment in authorship. As this had been acted at 
Court, as well as by the Queen’s Revels at Whitefriars, 
it probably dates back to the winter of 1609-10. The 
company returned to court on 5 January 1612 with Beau- 
mont and Fletcher’s Cupid's Revenge , and the Clerk of 
the Revels entered them as the Children of Whitefriars. 1 
The travels of 1612 were under the leadership of Nicholas 
Long, and on 20 May another contretemps occurred at Nor- 
wich. The instrument of deputation was forthcoming on 
this occasion, but the mayor chose to interpret the patent as 
giving authority only to teach and instruct children, and not 
to perform with them ; and so once again 4 the Master of the 
Kings Revells * got his reward of 20 s. } but was not allowed to 
play. Between Michaelmas and Christmas 4 the queens 
maiesties revellers * were at Bristol, and at some time during 
1612-13 4 two of the company of the childeren of Revells * 
received a reward at Coventry. Conceivably the provincial 
company of Reeve and Long was a distinct organization from 
that in London. Rosseter was payee for four performances 
at Court during the winter of 1612-13. On the first occasion, 
in the course of November, the play was Beaumont and 
Fletcher’s Coxcomb ; on 1 January and again on 9 January 
it was Cupid's Revenge ; and on 27 February it was The 
Widow's Tears . In one version of the Chamber Accounts the 
company appears this year as the Children of the Queen’s 
Revels, but in another under the obsolete designation of 
Children of the Chapel. In addition to the plays already 
named, Chapman’s Revenge of Bussy had been on the White- 
friars stage before it was published in 1613 ; and it is conceiv- 
able that Chapman’s Chabot and Beaumont and Fletcher’s 
Monsieur Thomas and The Nightwalker may be Queen’s 
Revels plays of 1610-13. They may also, indeed, be Lady 
Elizabeth’s plays of 1613-16, but during this period the Lady 
Elizabeth and the Queen’s Revels appear to have been 
practically amalgamated, under an arrangement made 
between Henslowe and Rosseter in March 1613 and then 
modified, first in 1614, and again on the addition of Prince 
Charles’s men to the 4 combine ’ in 1615. Yet in some way 

1 The Chamber Accounts record no payment to the company (cf. App. B, 
introd.). 



THE BOY COMPANIES 61 

the Children of the Revels maintained a separate individuality, 
at least in theory, during these years, as may be seen from 
the patent of 3 June 1615, which licensed Rosseter and Reeve, 
together with Robert Jones and Philip Kingman, to build 
a new Blackfriars theatre in the house known as Porter’s Hall. 1 
The main purpose of this undertaking was expressed to be 
the provision of a new house for the Children of the Queen’s 
Revels instead of the Whitefriars, where Rosseter’s lease 
was now expired, although it was also contemplated that 
use might be made of it by the Prince’s and the Lady Eliza- 
beth’s players. Porter’s Hall only stood for a short time 
before civic hostility procured its demolition, and the single 
play, which we can be fairly confident that the Children of 
the Revels gave in it, is Beaumont and Fletcher’s Scornful 
Lady . This presumably fell after the amalgamation under 
Henslowe broke up about the time of his death early in 1616. 
Field appears to have joined the King’s men about 1615. The 
Queen’s Revels dropped out of London theatrical life. Their 
provincial travels under Nicholas Long had apparently 
terminated in 1612, as in 1614 he is found using the patent 
of the Lady Elizabeth’s men (q. v.) in the provinces. But 
some members of the company seem to have gone travelling 
during the period of troubled relations with Henslowe, and 
are traceable at Coventry on 7 October 1615, and at Notting- 
ham in February 1616 and again later in 1616-17. On 
31 October 1617 a new Queen’s Revel’s company was formed 
by Rosseter, in association with Nicholas Long, Robert Lee 
of the Queen’s men, and William Perry of the King’s Revels. 2 

iii. THE CHILDREN OF WINDSOR 

Masters of the Children : — Richard Farrant (1564-80), Nathaniel 
Giles (1595-1634). 

The Chapel Royal at Windsor was served by an ecclesiastical 
college, which had been in existence as far back as the reign 
of Henry I, and had subsequently been resettled as St. George’s 
Chapel in connexion with the establishment of the Order of 
the Garter by Edward III, finally incorporated under 
Edward IV, and exempted from dissolution at the Reforma- 
tion. Edward III had provided for a warden, who afterwards 
came to be called dean, 12 canons, 13 priest vicars, 4 clerks, 
6 boy choristers, and 26 ‘ poor knights \ The boys were to 
be * endued with clear and tuneable voices ’, and to succeed 
the clerks as their voices changed. Their number was 


1 Cf. ch. xvi. 


* Murray, i. 361. 



64 


THE COMPANIES 


altered from time to time ; during the greater part of Elisa- 
beth's reign it stood at xo. Each had an annual fee of 
£3 65. 8 d. They were lodged within the Castle, in a chamber 
north of the chapel, and next to a building founded by James 
Denton in 1520, known as the 4 New Commons \ This is 
now merged in the canons* houses, but a doorway is inscribed 
4 Edes pro Sacellaenorum et Choristarum conviviis extructae 
a. d. 1519*. There were also an epistoler and a gospeller. 1 2 
The music was 4 useyd after ye order and maner of ye quenes 
chappell *. a One of the clerks, whose position corresponded 
to that of the Gentlemen of the household Chapel Royal, was 
appointed by the Chapter of the College to act as Organist and 
Master of the Children. The College was privileged, like the 
Chapel Royal itself, to recruit its choir by impressment. 
A commission for this purpose, issued on 8 March 1560, merely 
repeats the terms of one granted by Mary, which itself had 
confirmed earlier grants by Henry VIII and Edward VI. 3 4 5 

The Master at Elizabeth’s accession was one Preston. 4 
But he was deprived, as unwilling to accept the new ecclesiasti- 
cal settlement ; and the first Master under whom the choristers 
appear to have acted at Court was Richard Farrant. He had 
been a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal from about 1553, but 
was replaced on 24 April 1564, doubtless on his appointment 
as Master at Windsor. 5 On the following 30 September the 

1 E. Ashmole, Institution of the Garter (1672), 127 ; R. R. Tighe and 
J. E. Davis, Annals of Windsor, i. 426, 477 ; Report of Cathedrals Com- 
mission (1854), App. 467 ; V. H. Berks, ii. 106 ; H. M. C. Various MSS. 
vii. 10. 

2 Tighe-Davis, ii. 45, from Stowe’s account ‘ of the Castell of Wyndsore ’ 
(Harl. MS. 367, f. 13). 

8 Nichols, i. 81, and Collier, i. 170, print a copy in Ashm. MS. m3, 
f. 252, from the Elizabethan commission preserved at Windsor, as follows : 

* Elizabeth R. 

Whereas our castle of Windsor hath of old been well furnished with 
singing men and children, We, willing it should not be of less reputation 
in our days, but rather augmented and increased, declare, that no singing 
men or boys be taken out of the said chapel by virtue of any commission, 
not even for our household chapel : and we give power to the bearer of 
this to take any singing men and boys from any chapel, our own house- 
hold and St. Paul’s only excepted. Given at Westminster, this 8 th of March 
in the second year of our reign.’ 

A further copy from Ashm. MS. 1113 is in Addl. MS. 4847, f. 117. 
Copies or notes of the three earlier commissions are in this MS. and in 
Ashm. MS. 1124. In Ashm. MS. 1132, f. 169, is a letter of 18 April 1599 
from the Chapter to Sir R. Cecil defending their conduct in taking a singing 
man from Westminster. 

4 Gee, 230, in a list of deprived clergy from N. Sanders, De Visibili 
Monarchia (1571), 688, * Magistri Musices . . . Prestonus in oppido Vindeli- 
soriensi ’. Can this Preston be the playwright (cf. ch. xxiii) ? 

5 Rimbault, 1 ; Stopes, Shakespeare's Environment, 243. 



THE BOY COMPANIES 


63 


Chapter assigned a chantry to the teacher of the choristers 
for an increase of his maintenance. 1 On 5 November 1570, 
Farrant was reappointed a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal, 
but evidently did not resign his Mastership. 2 On 11 February 
1567 he began a series of plays with the 4 Children of Windsor * 
at Court, which was continued at Shrovetide 1568, on 
22 February and 27 December 1569, at Shrovetide 1571, 
on 1 January 1572, when he gave Ajax and Ulysses , on 
1 January 1573, on 6 January 1574, when he gave Quintus 
Fabius , on 6 January 1575, when he gave King Xerxes } and 
on 27 December 1575. With the winter of 1576-7 the 
entries of his name in the accounts of the Treasurer take 
a new form ; he is no longer 4 M r of the children of the 
Chappell at Wyndsore ’ but 4 M r of the children of the 
Chappell \ The Revels Accounts for the same season record 
that on 6 January 1577 Mutius Scaevola was played at Court 
by 4 the Children of Windsore and the Chappell and it is 
a fair inference that Farrant, in addition to exercising his 
own office, was now also acting as deputy to William Hunnis, 
the Master by patent of the Children of the Chapel Royal, 
and had made up a combined company from both choirs for 
the Christmas delectation of the Queen. 3 This interpretation 
of the facts was confirmed when Professor Feuillerat was able 
to show from the Loseley archives that in 1576 Farrant had 
taken a lease of rooms in the Blackfriars from Sir William 
More and had converted them into the first Blackfriars 
theatre. 4 Whether boys from Windsor continued to take 
a share in the performances by the Chapel during 1577-8, 
1578-9, and 1579-80, for all of which Farrant was payee, we 
do not know ; there is no further mention of them as actors in 
the Court accounts, although they accompanied the singing 
men from Windsor to Reading during the progress of 1576. 6 
Farrant died on 30 November 1580, leaving a widow Anne, 
who in 1582 obtained the reversion of a small lease from 
the Crown, and was involved in controversies with Sir William 
More over the Blackfriars tenement at least up to 1587. 6 
He had acquired some reputation as a musician, and amongst 
his surviving compositions are a few which may have been 
intended for use in plays. 7 Farrant was succeeded at Windsor 

1 Ashm. MS. 1132, f. 165 51 . 2 Rimbault, 2. 

3 M. L . R. (1906), ii. 6. 4 Cf. ch. xvii (Blackfriars). 

5 Cf. App. B. 6 Rimbault, 3 ; H.M. C., Hatfield MSS. ii. 539. 

7 Rimbault, 182 ; Musical Antiquary , i. 30 ; jo N. Q. v. 341. A Christ 
Church, .Oxford, MS., dated 1581, assigns to Farrant (cf. ch. xxiii) a 
possibly dramatic lament of Panthea for the death of Abradates, beginning 
‘ Ah, ah, alas ye salt sea Gods \ This is assigned to Robert Parsons by 
Addl. MSS. 1 7786-91, which assign to Farrant a song which may come from 



64 THE COMPANIES 

by Nathaniel Giles, but only after an interval of either 
five or fifteen years. Ashmole reports Giles’s monument as 
crediting him with forty-nine years* service as Master of 
St. George’s before his death in 1634. 1 There must be an 
inaccuracy, either here or in the date of 1 October 1 37 Eliz.* 
(1595) upon a copy of his indenture of appointment by the 
Windsor chapter, which is amongst Ashmole’s papers. 2 This 
recites that the chapter 1 are now destitute of an experte and 
cunnynge man ’, and that Giles * is well contented to come 
and serve * them. He is granted from the previous Michaelmas 
to the end of his life ‘ the Roome and place of a Clerk within 
the said ffree Chappell and to be one of the Players on the 
Organes there, and also the office of Instructor and Master 
of the ten Children or Choristers of the same ffree Chappell, 
And the office of tutor, creansor, or governor of the same tenn 
Children or Coristers ’. He is to have an annuity of £81 6s. 8 d. 
and * tholde comons howse wherein John Mundie lately 
dwelt, which he is to hold on the same terms as 4 one Richarde 
ffarrante enioyed the same ’ at a rent of £1 6s. 8d. His fee is 
to be 1 over and besides all such giftes, rewardes or benevo- 
lences as from time to time during the naturall lief of him the 
said Nathanaell Gyles shall be given bestowed or ymployed 
to or vpon the Choristers for singinge of Balattes, playes or 
for the like respects whatsoever ’. He is to maintain the 
children and to supply vacancies, 4 her Maiesties comission 
for the taking of Children which her highnes hath alredie 
graunted to the said Dean and Canons being allowed vnto 
him the said Nathanaell Gyles for that purpose ’. Evidently 
the door was left open for a resumption of theatrical activities, 
such as was afterwards brought about at the London Chapel 
Royal during the Mastership of Giles there ; but there is no 
proof that such a resumption ever took place at Windsor. 
It is perhaps a fanciful conjecture that the boys may have 
helped with The Merry Wives of Windsor about 1600. 3 

iv. CHILDREN OF THE KING’S REVELS 

Masters : — Martin Slater and others. 

[Bibliographical Note. — The chief source of information is J. Greenstreet, 
The Whitefriars Theatre in the Time of Shakspere (N. S. S. Trans. i88y-g2, 
269), which gives the text of the bill and answer in Androwes v. Slater 
(1609, Chancery).] 

a play in which Altages is a character. The writer in the Musical Anti- 
quary thinks that a lament for Guichardo (not from either of the known 
Gismund texts) in the Ch. Ch. MS. is much in Fairant 's style. 

1 Ashmole, Antiquities of Berks (ed. 1723), iii. 172 ; cf. p. 41. 

2 Ashm. MS. 1 125* f, 41 v * 2 Cf. ch. xiii (Chamberlain’s). 



THE BOY COMPANIES 65 

The accident of litigation brings into light a company of 
boys, who appear to have acted for a brief and troubled 
period, which probably ended in 1608 or early in 1609. The 
story is told by one George Androwes a silk- weaver of London, 
and begins in February 1608. At that date a part of the 
dissolved Whitefriars monastery was held, in contemplation 
of a lease from Lord Buckhurst, by Michael Drayton 
and Thomas Woodford. The lease was actually executed 
about the following March, and was for six years, eight 
months, and twenty days, at a rent of £ 50 . Woodford 
had assigned his interest to one Lording Barry ; and 
Barry in turn persuaded Androwes to take over a third 
of it, and to join a syndicate, of which the active manager 
was Martin Slater, who is described as a citizen and ironmonger 
of London, but is, of course, well known as an actor in the 
Admiral’s and other companies. The bill incorporates the 
terms of Articles of Agreement entered into on 10 March 
1608 by Slater on the one hand and Barry, Androwes, and 
Drayton, together with William Trevell, William Cooke, 
Edward Sibthorpe, and John Mason, all of London, gentlemen, 
on the other. They throw a good deal of light upon the 
business organization of a theatrical enterprise. Slater is 
to have a sixth part of the net profits of 4 any playes, showes, 
interludes, musique, or such like exercises ’ in the White- 
friars playhouse or elsewhere, together with lodging for 
himself and his family on the premises, and any profits 
that can be made in the house 4 either by wine, beere, ale, 
tobacco, wood, coales, or any such commoditie \ When the 
4 pattent for playinge ’ shall be renewed, Slater’s name is to 
be joined in it with Drayton’s, because 4 if any restrainte of 
their playinge shall happen by reason of the plague or other 
wise, it shalbe for more creditt of the whole company that 
the said Martyn shall travel with the children, and acquainte 
the magistrates with their busines \ During any such travel 
his allowance is to be increased to a share and a half, no 
apparel, books, or other property of the company is to be 
removed without the consent of the sharers, and none of 
them is to print any of the play-books, 4 except the booke 
of Torrismount, and that playe not to be printed by any 
before twelve monthes be fully expired In order to avoid 
debt, a sixth part is to be taken up each day of the 4 chardges 
of the howse ’ for the week, including 4 the gatherers, the 
wages, the childrens bourd, musique, booke keeper, tyre- 
man, tyrewoman, lights, the Maister of the revells* duties, 
and all other things needefull and necessary \ The children 
are to be 4 bound * for three years to Slater, who undertakes 


222 0*2 


F 



66 


THE COMPANIES 


not to part with 4 the said younge men or ladds ’ during their 
apprenticeship except on the consent of his fellow sharers. 

The theatrical experience of the syndicate presumably 
rested with Slater and Drayton. Of Trevell, Cooke, and Sib- 
thorpe I know nothing, except that Trevell, like Woodford, 
seems still to have had an interest in the lease of the White- 
friars (cf. ch. xvii) in 1621. But Mason and Barry were the 
authors respectively of The Turk (1610, S. R. 10 March 1609), 
and Ram Alley (1611, S. R. 9 November 1610), the title- 
pages of which ascribe them to the children of the King’s 
Revels, and thereby enable us to give a more definite title 
to the boys, who are only described in the Chancery pleadings 
as * the Children of the revells there beinge ’, that is to say, 
at the Whitefriars. And we can trace the King’s Revels 
a little farther back than February 1608 with the aid of the 
earliest of similar entries on the title-pages of other plays, 
which are, in the chronological order of publication, Sharp- 
ham’s Cupid's Whirligig (1607, S. R. 29 June 1607), Middle- 
ton’s Family of Love (1608, S. R. 12 October 1607), Day’s 
Humour Out Of Breath (1608, S. R. 12 April 1608), Markham’s 
(and Machin’s) The Dumb Knight (1608, S. R. 6 October 1608), 
and Armin’s Two Maids of More-clack (1609). If Lewis 
Machin was the author of the anonymous Every Woman In 
Her Humour (1609), it is possible that this ought to be added 
to the list. Clearly the boys were playing at least as early 
as the first half of 1607 and the agreement of 1608 must 
represent a reconstruction of the original business organiza- 
tion. I do not find anything in the plays to prove an earlier 
date than 1607, but it is quite conceivable that the King’s 
Revels may have come into existence as early as 1606, 
perhaps with the idea of replacing the Queen’s Revels after 
their disgrace over The Isle of Gulls . But if so, the Queen’s 
Revels managed to hold together under another name, and 
in fact proved more enduring than their rivals. Mr. Fleay, 
however, suggests that the King’s Revels were a continuation 
of the Paul’s boys, and played at the singing-school, and 
apparently also that they were themselves continued as the 
Duke of York’s men (H. of S. 152, 188, 202, 206). He did not, 
I think, know of Androwes v. Slater , but Androwes v. Slater 
does not indicate that the King’s Revels were at Whitefriars 
before 1608; rather the contrary. 1 The dates render Mr. Fleay’s 
conjectures tempting, although it must be admitted that 
there is not much evidence. But The Family of Love was 
played in a round theatre and the Paul’s house was round. 

1 Presumably, however, the * Gerry ’ buried out of the Whitefriars play- 
house (q#v.) on 29 Sept, 1607 was of the company. * 



THE BOY COMPANIES 


67 


The curious description of the Duke of York’s men at Leicester 
in 1608 as 4 of the White Chappie, London ’, might conceivably 
be a mistake for 4 of the Whitefriars *, but more probably 
indicates that they came from the Boar’s Head (cf. ch. xvi). 

4 The Children of the Revells’ followed them at Leicester 
on 21 August 1608, but these may have been the Black- 
friars children under a not quite official name. A complete 
search through the Patent Rolls for 1606-8 might disinter 
the patent for the King’s Revels, which is referred to in the 
Articles of Agreements ; I find no obvious clue to it in the 
printed index of signet bills. It seems possible that William 
Barksted (cf. ch. xv) may have belonged to the King’s Revels. 

The syndicate did not hold together long. It will be 
noticed that, in spite of the attempt in the articles to bar the 
printing of plays, these had begun to reach the stationers 
again as early as April 1608. The inhibition of 1608 hardly 
gave the company a chance, and then came the plague. 
They were probably broken before the end of 1608, and 
although Mason and Barry had at least the consolation that 
they had got their own plays staged, other members of the 
syndicate could only reflect that they had lost their money. 
And when dissensions broke out, and Slater sued Androwes 
on a bond of £200 given by the sharers for observance of 
the articles, and this for defaults which Androwes himself 
had not committed, it is not surprising that Androwes drew 
the conclusion that he had been a gull. He took Slater to 
Chancery, and alleged that he had been asked £go and paid 
£jo for his share in the expectation of a profit of £100 a year, 
and on the understanding that the apparel was worth £400 
when it was not worth £5, that he had been led into building 
and other expenses to the tune of £300, that the lease had 
been forfeited for non-payment of rent before any assignation 
had been made to him, and that he had been clearly told by 
Slater that his obligation was not to extend beyond any 
breaches of covenant that he might himself commit. Slater 
denied any responsibility for Androwes’s misunderstandings, 
and pointed out that he had himself been the principal 
sufferer by the breakdown of the enterprise, since he and his 
family of ten had been illegally turned out of the rooms to 
which they were entitled under the articles of agreement, and 
were now driven to beg their bread. The view taken by the 
court is not upon record. 

The company which was described as the King’s Revels 
at Norwich in 1611 and 1612 was travelling under the Queen’s 
Revels patent of 1610, and was therefore clearly misnamed. 
But a second King’s Revels company did in fact come into 



68 


THE COMPANIES 


existence through a licence given to William Hovell, William 
Perry, and Nathan May under the royal signet on 27 February 
1615. It performed only in the provinces, and is traceable at 
Norwich, Coventry, and Leicester. Its warrant was condemned 
and withdrawn by an order of the Lord Chamberlain on 
16 July 1616 (Murray, ii. 343), and in the following year the 
company seems to have amalgamated with the provincial 
relics of the Queen’s Revels. 

v. CHILDREN OF BRISTOL 

Masters : — John Daniel (1615-17) ; Martin Slater, John Edmonds, 
Nathaniel Clay (1618). 

A signet bill for a patent for a company of Children of 
Bristol under the patronage of Queen Anne was passed in 
June 1615, perhaps as a result of her visit to that city in 1613. 1 
On 10 July Sir George Buck wrote to John Packer, the Earl 
of Somerset’s secretary, to say that the grant had been made 
through the Queen’s influence on behalf of Samuel Daniel, 
and that; he was prepared to assent to it, without prejudice 
to his rights as Master of the Revels. 2 The actual patent, 
dated 13 July, is made out to Daniel’s brother John. 3 

De concessione re- lames by the grace of God &c. To all Iustices 
gardante lohannem 0 f peace, Mayors, Sheriffes, Bayliffes, Con- 
Daniell. stables, headboroughes and other our lovinge 

subjectes and Officers greetinge. Knowe yee that wee at the mocion 
of our most deerelie loved consort the Queene have licenced and 
authorised, And by theise presentes do licence and authorise, our wel- 
beloved subjectes Iohn Daniell and his Assignes to entertaine and 
bringe vp a company of children and youthes vnder the name and title 
of the children of her Maiesties royall Chamber of Bristoll, to vse and 
exercise the arte and qualitie of playinge Comedies, histories, Enter- 
ludes, Moralles, Pastoralles, Stageplayes, and such other like, as they 
have alreadie studied or hereafter shall studie or vse, aswell for the 
solace and delight of our most derely loved Consort the Queene when- 
soever they shalbe called, as for the recreacion of our loving Subiectes, 
And the said Enterludes or other to shewe and exercise publiquely to 
their best commoditie, aswell in and about our said Citie of Bnstoll in 
such vsuall houses as themselues shall provide, as other convenient 
places within the liberties and freedomes of any other Cittie, vni- 
versitie, Towne, or Burrowe whatsoever within our Realmes and 
Dominions, willing and commaundinge you and euery of you, as you 
tender our pleasures, not onelie to permitt and suffer them herein 
without any your lettes, hinderances, molestacions, and disturbances 

1 Phillimore, 140 ; cf. App. A. 2 S. P. D. Jac. I, lxxxi. 12. 

8 M. S. C. i. 379, from P. R. 13 Jac. I, pt. 20. 



THE BOY COMPANIES 69 

during our said pleasure, but alsoe to be aydinge and assistinge vnto 
them, yf any wronge be done vnto them or to them offred, and to 
allowe them such further curtesies as have bene given to other of the 
like qualitie, And alsoe what further grace and favour you shall show 
Vnto them for our sakes wee shall take kindly at your handes. Pro- 
vided alwaies and our will and pleasure is, all authoritie, power, privi- 
ledge, and profitt whatsoever belonginge and properlie apperteyninge 
to the Maister of the Revelles in respect of his office shall remayne and 
abide entire and in full force, effect, and vertue, and in as ample sort 
as if this our Commission had never byn made. In witnes whereof &c, 
witnes our selfe at Westminster the seaventeenth day of Iuly. 

per breve de priuato sigillo &c. 

The company is not traceable in London, but Daniel 
brought it to Norwich in 1616-17. By April 1618 he had 
assigned his privilege to Martin Slater, John Edmonds and 
Nathaniel Clay, who obtained, presumably from the Privy 
Council, supplementary letters of assistance in which they 
are described as 4 her Majesties servants ’, and are authorized 
to play as 4 her Maiesties servants of her Royall Chamber of 
Bristoll \ x From a complaint sent in the following June by 
the Mayor of Exeter to Sir Thomas Lake, it emerges that, 
although the patent was for children, the company consisted 
of five youths and several grown men. 2 Slater and Edmonds 
still held their status as Queen’s men (q.v.) in 1619. 


vi. WESTMINSTER SCHOOL 

Head Masters : — John Adams (1540) ; Alexander Nowell (1543-53) ; 
Nicholas Udall (1555-6) ; John Passey (1557-8, with Richard Spencer 
as usher) ; John Randall (1563) ; Thomas Browne (1564-9) ; Francis 
Howlyn (1570-1) ; Edward Graunte (1572-92); William Camden 
( 1 593-8, Undermaster 1575-93) ; Richard Ireland (1599-1610) ; John 
Wilson (1610-22). 

Choir Masters (?) : — William Cornish (1480) ; John Taylor (1561- 7) ; 
John Billingsley (1572) ; William Elderton (1574). 

[ Bibliographical Note . — The best sources of information are : R. Wid- 
more, History of Westminster Abbey (1751) ; J. Welch [ — C. B. Phillimore], 
Alumni Westmonasterienses, ed. 2 (1852) ; Appendix to First Report of the 
Cathedral Commissioners (1854) ; F. H. Forshall, Westminster School , Past 
and Present (1884) ; J. Sargeaunt, Annals of Westminster School (1898) ; 
A. F. Leach, The Origin of Westminster School in Journal of Education , 
n. s. xxvii (1905), 79. Some valuable records have been printed by 

1 Variorum , iii. 426 ; Collier, i. 394 ; Hazlitt, E. D. S. 49 ; from 5 . P. D. 
Jac. I, xcvii. 140. 

* Collier, i. 396, not, as he says, from the P. C. Register , but from 
5 . P. D. Jac . J, xcvii. 140. 



70 


THE COMPANIES 


E. J. L. Scott in the Athenaeum , and extracts from others are given in 
the Observer for 7 Dec. 1919. A. F. Leach has fixed the dates of Udall’s 
life in Encycl. Brit, s.v.] 

There is no trace of any grammar school in the abbey 
of Westminster until the fourteenth century. The Customary 
of 1259-83 (ed. E. M. Thompson for Henry Bradshaw Soc .) 
only contemplates education for the novices, and in the 
earliest almoner’s accounts, which begin with 1282, entries 
of 1317 4 in maintaining Nigel at school for the love of God * 
(Leach, 80) and 1339-40, 4 pro scholaribus inueniendis ad 
scolas ’ (E. H. Pearce, The Monks of Westminster Abbey , 79), 
need only refer to the support of scholars at a University. 
But from 1354-5 there were almonry boys [pueri Elemosinariae) 
under the charge of the Sub-Almoner, and these are traceable 
up to the dissolution. To them we may assign the Indus 
of the Boy Bishop on St. Nicholas’ day, mentions of which 
have been noted in 1369, 1388, 1413, and 1540 ( Mediaeval 
Stage , i. 360; Leach, 80). They had a school house near 
4 le Millebank ’, and from 1367 the Almoner paid a M agister 
Puerorum. From 1387 he is often called Magister Scolarum 
and in the fifteenth century Magister Scolarium. From 
1510 the boys under the Magister become pueri grammatici , 
and may be distinct from certain pueri cantantes for whom 
since 1479-80 the Almoner had paid a separate teacher of 
singing. The first of these song-masters was William Cornish, 
doubtless of the family so closely connected with the Chapel 
Royal (q.v.). In 1540 the pueri grammatici were re-organized 
as the still existing College of St. Peter, Westminster, which is 
therefore generally regarded as owing its origin to Henry VIII, 
who on the surrender of the abbey in 1540 turned it into 
a college of secular canons, and provided for a school of forty 
scholars. This endured in some form through the reactionary 
reign of Mary, whose favourite dramatist Nicholas Udall 
became its Head Master, although the date of his appointment 
on 16 December 1555 (A. F. Leach in Encycl . Brit., s.v. Udall) 
makes it probable that, if he wrote his Ralph Roister Doister 
for a school at all, it was for Eton (q.v.) rather than West- 
minster. His predecessor Alexander Nowell is said by 
Strype to have 4 brought in the reading of Terence for the 
better learning the pure Roman style ’, and, as the Sub- 
Almoner paid 4 xvid. for wryting of a play for the chyldren ’ 
as early as 1521 {Observer), the performance of Latin comedies 
by the boys may have been pre-Elizabethan. It is provided 
for in the statutes drafted by Dean Bill ( c . 1560) after the 
restoration of her father’s foundation by Elizabeth. These 
statutes also contemplate a good deal of interrelation between 



THE BOY COMPANIES 


7i 


the choir school and the grammar school. They are printed 
in the Report of the Cathedral Commission (App. I, 80). The 
personnel of the foundation was to include (a) 4 clerici duo - 
decim of whom * unus sit choristarum doctor \ (b) 4 decern 
pueri symphoniaci sive choristae \ presumably in continuation 
of the former singing boys, (c) 4 praeceptores duo ad erudien- 
dam iuventutem (d) 4 discipuli grammatici quadraginta \ 
The 4 praeceptores ' are distinguished later in the document 
as 4 archididascalus * and 4 hypodidascalus and the former 
is also called 4 ludimagister \ By c. 5 the choristers are to 
have a preference in elections to the grammar school. The 
following section 4 De Choristis et Choristarum Magistro ’ 
forms part of c. 9 : 

4 Statuimus et ordinamus ut in ecclesia nostra praedicta sint decern 
choristae, pueri tenerae aetatis et vocibus sonoris ad cantandum, et 
ad artem musicam discendam, et etiam ad musica instrumenta pul- 
sanda apti, qui choro inserviant, ministrent, et cantent. Ad hos prae- 
clare instituendos, unus eligatur qui sit honestae famae, vitae probae, 
religionis sincerae, artis musicae peritus, et ad cantandum et musica 
instrumenta pulsanda exercitatus, qui pueris in praedictis scientiis et 
exercitiis docendis aliisque muniis [? muneribus] in choro obeundis 
studiose vacabit. Hunc magistrum choristarum appellari volumus. 
Cui muneri doctores et baccalaureos musices aliis praeferendos cense- 
mus. Volumus etiam quoties eum ab ecclesia nostra abesse contingat, 
alterum substituat a decano vel eo absente prodecan o approban- 
dum. Prospiciat item puerorum saluti, quorum et in literis (donee 
ut in scholam nostram admittantur apti censebuntur) et in morum 
modestia et in convictu educationem et liberalem institutionem illius 
fidei et industriae committimus. Quod si negligens et in docendo 
desidiosus, aut in salute puerorum et recta eorum educatione minime 
pro vidus et circumspectus, et ideo non tolerandus inveniatur, post 
trinam admonitionem (si se non emendaverit) ab officio deponatur. 
Qui quidem choristarum magister ad officium suum per se fideliter 
obeundum iuramento etiam adigetur. Choristae postquam octo 
orationis partes memoriter didicerint et scribere mediocriter noverint, 
ad scholam nostram ut melius in grammatica proficiant singulis diebus 
profestis accedant, ibique duabus minimum horis maneant, et a prae- 
ceptoribus instituantur. , 

The following section 4 De Comoediis et Ludis in Natali 
Domini exhibendis' comes in c. 10: 

4 Quo iuventus maiore cum fructu tempus Natalis Christi terat, et 
turn actioni turn pronunciationi decenti melius se assuescat : statuimus 
ut singulis annis intra i2 m post festum Natalis Christi dies [? diem], 
vel postea arbitrio decani, ludimagister et praeceptor simul Latine 
unam, magister choristarum Anglice alteram comoediam aut tragoe- 
diam a discipulis et choristis suis in aula privatim vel publice agendam, 



72 


THE COMPANIES 


curent. Quod si non prestiterint singuli quorum negligentia omit- 
tuntur decern solidis mulctentur.’ 

The statutes appear never to have been confirmed by the 
Crown, and their practical adoption was subject to certain 
exceptions. Thus, it is stated in the report of the Public 
Schools Commission in 1864 (i. 159) that there is no reason 
to believe that the provision giving a preference to choristers 
in elections for the grammar school was ever attended to. 

Of plays and the like, however, there are various records. 
The first since 1521 is at the Lord Mayor’s Day of 1561, 
when the Merchant Taylors’ expenses for their pageant 
included items ‘ to John Tayllour, master of the Children of 
the late monastere of Westminster, for his children that 
sung and played in the pageant ’, and 4 to John Holt momer 
in reward for attendance given of the children in the pageant ’. 
Similar payments were made to Taylor as 4 M r of the quiry- 
sters ’ for the services of the children on the Ironmongers’ 
pageant of 1566. 1 In 1562 the choristers of Westminster 
Abbey performed a goodly play before the Society of Parish 
Clerks after their annual dinner. 2 In 1564-5 comes the first 
of a series of Court performances, which received assistance 
from the Revels office. To this occasion belongs a memoran- 
dum of 4 Thexpenses of twoo playes viz. Heautontimorou- 
menos Terentii and Miles Gloriosus Plauti plaied by the 
children of the grammer schoole in the collecjge of Westminster 
and before the Quenes maiestie anno 1564 ’. 3 The items 
include, 4 At ye rehersing before Sir Thomas Benger for 
pinnes and suger candee vj d ’, 4 For a lynke to bring thapparell 
from the reuells iiij d.\ 1 At the playing of Miles Glor; in 
M r . Deanes howse for pinnes half a thousand vj d.\ 4 Geuen 
to M r . Holte yeoman of the reuells xs.\ 4 To M r . Taylor his 
man 4 For one Plautus geven to ye Queenes maiestie and 
fowre other vnto the nobilitie xjs.’ It is not quite clear 
whether the Heautontimorumenus , as well as the Miles 
Gloriosus , was given before the Queen, but I think not. In 
1565-6 Elizabeth was again present at the play of Sapientia 
Solomonis , and there were payments 4 For drawing the city 
and temple of Jerusalem and paynting towers ’, 4 To a woman 
that brawght her childe to the stadge and there attended 
uppon it and for a copy of the play bound 4 in vellum with 
the Queenes Ma tie hir armes and sylke ribben strings *, 
almost certainly that still extant as Addl. MS. 20061 (cf. 

1 Clode, ii. 269 ; Nicholl, Ironmongers , 84 ; cf. ch. iv. 

* Warton, iii. 313 ; Stowe, Survey, ed. Strype, v. 231. 

3 E. J. L. Scott in Athenaeum (1903), i. 220, from 5 . P. D. Eliz. xxxvi. 
22 ; Murray, ii. 168. 



THE BOY COMPANIES 


73 


App. K), which shows that Elizabeth was accompanied by 
Cecilia of Sweden. 1 Whether these "plays were at the school 
or at Court is not quite clear. I should, on the whole, infer 
the latter, but no rewards were paid for them by the Treasurer 
of the Chamber. John Taylor was, however, paid for plays 
by the Children of Westminster during the Shrovetide of 
1566-7 and the Christmas of 1567-8 ; John Billingesley for 
their Paris and Vienna on 19 February 1572 ; and William 
Elderton for their Truth, Faithfulness , and Mercy on 1 January 
1574. In 1567 also the boys are recorded ( Observer ) to have 
played at Putney before Bishop Grindal. I suppose that 
Billingesley and Elderton succeeded Taylor as Magistri 
Choristarum. Taylor himself is probably the same who on 
8 September 1557 was Master of the singing children at the 
hospital of St. Mary Woolnoth. Elderton is presumably 
the same who brought the Eton boys to Court in 1573. 
Whether he is also the bibulous balladist of the pamphleteers 
(cf. ch. xv) is more doubtful. The absence of a payment for 
Miles Gloriosus may suggest that this was given by the 
grammar school who, like the Inns of Court, did not expect 
a reward, and that the English plays were given by the 
choristers, who were on the same footing as the choristers of 
Paul’s. I am not sure, however, that the wording of the 
statutes quite implies such a sharp distinction between the 
two sets of boys, and it will be noticed that Taylor, or his 
man, was in some way concerned with the Latin play. Very 
possibly grammar boys and choristers acted together. With 
1574 the Court performances end, but expenses of plays are 
traceable in the college accounts in 1604-5, 1605-6, 1606-7, 
and 1609-10, and up to about 1640, when they stop for 
sixty-four years. 2 * 


vii. ETON COLLEGE 

Head Masters: — William Malim (r. 1555-73) ; William Smyth 
(< c . 1563) ; Reuben Sherwood (c. 1571) ; Thomas Ridley (1579) ; John 
Hammond (1583) ; Richard Langley (1594) ; Richard Wright (1611) ; 
Matthew Bust (1611-30). 

[ Bibliographical Note. — The best sources of information are J. Hey wood 
and T. Wright, Ancient Laws of King's College and Eton College (1850) ; 
Report of Public Schools Commission (1864) ; W. L. Collins, Etoniana 

1 Observer. Other payments in this or another year were for ‘ a haddocke 

occupied in the plaie \ 4 a thondre barrell ', * drawing the tytle of the 

comedee ’. 

* E. J. L. Scott in Athenaeum (1896), i. 95; (1903) ii. 220; Murray, 
ii. 168 ; Observer . 



74 


THE COMPANIES 


1865) ; H. Maxwell-Lyte, History of Eton (1875, 4th ed. 1911) ; W. Sterry, 
Annals of Eton College (1898).] 

The King’s College of Our Lady of Eton beside Windsor 
was founded by Henry VI in 1441. The Statutes of 1444 
provide for a Boy Bishop ( Mediaeval Stage , i. 365), but the 
custom was discontinued before 1559-61, when William 
Malim prepared a Consuetvdinarium for a Royal Commission 
appointed to visit the college. By this time, however, 
Christmas plays by the boys had become the practice, and 
Malim writes : 1 

* Circiter festum D. Andreae [Nov. 30] ludimagister eligere solet 
pro suo arbitrio scaenicas fabulas optimas et quam accommodatissi- 
mas, quas pueri feriis natalitiis subsequentibus non sine ludorum 
elegantia, populo spectante, publice aliquando peragant. Histrionum 
levis ars est, ad actionem tamen oratorum, et gestum motumque 
corporis decentem tantopere facit, ut nihil magis. Interdum etiam 
exhibet Anglico sermone contextas fabulas, quae habeant acumen et 
leporem.’ 

There are ‘ numerous ’ entries of expenditure on these 
plays in the Audit Books from 1525-6 to 1572-3, of which 
a few only have been printed. 2 3 There is also an inventory, 
apparently undated, of articles in 4 M r . Scholemasters 
chamber ’, which includes ‘ a great cheste bound about 
with yron to keepe the players coats in ’, and a list of the 
apparel, beards, and properties. The Eton boys played 
under Udall before Cromwell in 1538 ( Mediaeval Stage , 
ii. 196, 451), and it is possible that Ralph Roister Doister may 
belong to his Eton mastership. 3 The only Court performance 
by Eton boys on record was one on 6 January 1573, for which 
the payee was Elderton, presumably the William Elderton 
who was payee for the Westminster boys in the following 
year. 

1 Hey wood- Wright, 632 ; Hazlitt-Warton, iii. 308. 

2 Coilins, 215 (1566), ‘ M r Scholemaster towards his charges about the 
playes laste Christmas, 20/- * ; Maxwell-Lyte, 4 1 54 (1 566-7) * To M r Schole- 
master for his charge setting furthe ij playes 19 0 Martii, iii 1 , xiij®, viij* ', 
(1568-9) 1 For ij dossen of links at iij d the linke for the childrens showes 
at Christmass, vj 8 *, (1572-3) 'For vj poundes of candles at the playes 
in the Halle, ix d ’. 

3 J. W. Hales in Englische Studien, xviii. 408 (cf. Mediaeval Stage , 

ii. 452), made the date of 1553-4 seem plausible, but his conjecture that 

the play was written for the Westminster boys is disposed of by A. F. 

Leach, who gives Udall' s appointment to Westminster from the Chapter 

Act Book as 16 Dec. 1555 (Encycl. Brit. s.v. Udall). It might be a Court 

play of 1553-4, but the parody of the Requiem would have been an indis- 
cretion on Udall’s part at that date, 



THE BOY COMPANIES 


75 


viii. MERCHANT TAYLORS SCHOOL 

Head Masters : — Richard Mulcaster (1561-86); Henry Wilkinson 
(1586-92); Edmund Smith (1592-9) ; William Hayne (1599-1625). 

The London school of the Merchant Taylors was founded 
in 1561, and its first master was Richard Mulcaster, or Mon- 
caster, as his name is spelt in some of the earlier records. 1 
He was a student of King’s, Cambridge and Christ Church, 
Oxford, who had been teaching in London since 1559. The 
first performances by his boys, of which record remains, 
were in 1572-3. In that and the following year they played 
before the Merchant Taylors Company at the Common Hall. 2 
Unfortunately the audience, who had paid for their seats, 
and very likely Mulcaster himself, paid more attention to 
the plays than to the dignitaries in whose hall they were 
given. The plays were therefore stopped, and the following 
pleasing example of civic pomposity inserted in the archives 
of the Company on 16 March 1574 : 3 

* Whereas at our comon playes and suche lyke exercises whiche be 
cojnonly exposed to be seene for money, everye lewd persone thinketh 
himself (for his penny) worthye of the chiefe and most comodious place 
withoute respecte of any other either for age or estimacion in the 
comon weale, whiche bringeth the youthe to such an impudente 
famyliaritie with theire betters that often tymes greite contempte of 
maisters, parents, and magistrats foloweth thereof, as experience of 
late in this our comon hall hath sufficyently declared, where by reasone 
of the tumultuous disordered persones repayringe hither to see suche 
playes as by our schollers were here lately played, the Maisters of this 
Worshipful Companie and their deare ffrends could not have enter- 
taynmente and convenyente place as they ought to have had, by no 
provision beinge made, notwithstandinge the spoyle of this howse, the 
charges of this Mystery, and theire juste authorise which did reasonably 
require the contrary. Therefore and ffor the causes ffirst above saide, 
yt is ordeyned and decreed by the authorise of this presente Courte, 
with the assente and consente of all the worshipfull persones aforesaide, 
that henceforthe theire shall be no more plays suffered to be played in 
this our Comon Hall, any use or custome heretofore to the contrary in 
anywise notwithstandinge.’ 

Mulcaster, however, found more tolerant critics than his 
own employers. His first appearance at Court was on 

1 G. C. Moore Smith (M . L. R. viii. 368) has an ingenious identification 
of him with the Wrenock of Spenser’s Shepheards Kalendar, xii. 41. 

2 Clode, Hist, of Merchant Taylors Company, 1. 235, from Master’s 
Accounts. Before they opened their own school the Company had plays 
by the Westminster boys (q.v.). 

3 Clode, i. 234. 



76 


THE COMPANIES 


3 February 1573. 1 On 2 February 1574 he presented Titnoclia 
at the Siege of Thebes and on 23 February Percius and Antho- 
miris; at Shrovetide 1575 and on 6 March 1576 plays 
unnamed ; and on 12 February 1583 Ariodante and Geneuora. 
A reminiscence of these performances has been left us by 
the seventeenth-century judge, Sir James Whitelocke, who 
entered the school in 1575 and left for St. John’s, Oxford, 
in 1588 : 

‘ I was brought up at school under M r Mulcaster, in the famous 
school of the Merchantaylors in London. . . . Yeerly he presented 
sum playes to the court, in which his scholers wear only actors, and 
I on among them, and by that meanes taughte them good behaviour 
and audacitye.’ 3 

In 1586 Mulcaster quarrelled with the Merchant Taylors 
and resigned. In 1596 he became High Master of St. Paul’s 
grammar school, but it is only conjecture that his influence 
counted for anything in the revival of plays by the choir 
master, Edward Pearce. Regular plays at Merchant Taylors 
probably ceased on his withdrawal. When Sir Robert Lee, 
one of the Company, became Lord Mayor in 1602, a payment 
was made to Mr. Haines, the Schoolmaster, for a wagon and 
the apparel of ten scholars, who represented Apollo and the 
Muses in Cheapside. But when James came to dine at the 
hall on 16 July 1607, it was thought best to apply for help to 
Heminges of the King’s men and Nathaniel Giles of the 
Chapel, on the ground that the Schoolmaster and children 
were not familiar with such entertainments. 3 

ix. THE EARL OF LEICESTER’S BOYS 

Vide ch. xiii (Earl of Leicester’s men). 

x. THE EARL OF OXFORD’S BOYS 

Vide ch. xiii (Earl of Oxford’s men). 

xi. MR. STANLEY’S BOYS 

Vide ch. xiii (Earl of Derby’s men). 

1 The subject may have been Perseus and Andromeda, as the Revels 
prepared a picture of Andromeda this year. If so, it was probably the 
same play as that of 23 Feb. 1 574. 

2 Whitelocke, Liber Famelicus (Camden Soc.), 12. 

3 Clode, i. 264, 280, 390. 



XIII 

THE ADULT COMPANIES 


i. The Court Interluders. 

ii. The Earl of Leicester’s men. 

iii. Lord Rich’s men. 

iv. Lord Abergavenny’s men. 

v. The Earl of Sussex’s men. 

vi. Sir Robert Lane’s men. 

vii. The Earl of Lincoln’s (Lord Clinton’s) men. 

viii. The Earl of Warwick’s men. 

ix. The Earl of Oxford’s men. 

x. The Earl of Essex’s men. 

xi. Lord Vaux’s men. 

xii. Lord Berkeley’s men. 

xiii. Queen Elizabeth’s men. 

xiv. The Earl of Arundel’s men. 

xv. The Earl of Hertford’s men. 

xvi. Mr. Evelyn’s men. 

xvii. The Earl of Derby’s (Lord Strange’s) men. 
xviii. The Earl of Pembroke’s men. 

xix. The Lord Admiral’s (Lord Howard’s, Earl of Nottingham’s), 

Prince Henry’s, and Elector Palatine’s men. 

xx. The Lord Chamberlain’s (Lord Ilunsdon’s) and King’s men. 

xxi. The Earl of Worcester’s and Queen Anne’s men. 

xxii. The Duke of Lennox’s men. 

xxiii. The Duke of York’s (Prince Charles’s) men. 
xxiv. The Lady Elizabeth’s men. 

i. THE COURT INTERLUDERS 

Henry VII (22 Aug. 1485 — 21 Apr. 1509); Henry VIII (22 Apr. 
I 5°9 — 2 % J an - x 547) i Edward VI (28 Jan. 1547 — 6 July 1553) ; Mary 
(19 July 1553—24 July 1554) ; Philip and Mary (25 July 1554— 17 Nov. 
1558) ; Elizabeth (17 Nov. 1558 — 24 Mar. 1603). 

The doyen of the Court companies, when Elizabeth came 
to the throne, was the royal company of Players of Interludes. 
This had already half a century of history behind it. Its 
beginnings are probably traceable in the reign of Henry VII. 
Richard III had entertained a company, as Duke of Gloucester, 
in 1482 ; but nothing is known of it during his short reign 
from 1583 to 1585. 1 Nor is a royal company discoverable 

1 Mediaeval Stage , ii. 186, 256. 



7 8 


THE COMPANIES 


amongst the earlier records of Henry VII himself. 1 But from 
1493 onwards Exchequer documents testify to the continuous 
existence of a body of men under the style of Lusores Regis , 
or in the vulgar tongue, Players of the King’s Interludes. 
In 1494 there were four of them, John English, Edward 
May, Richard Gibson, and John Hammond, and each had 
an annual fee, payable out of the Exchequer, of £3 65. Sd . 
In 1503 there were five, William Rutter and John Scott taking 
the place of Hammond, but the total Exchequer payment 
to the company of £13 6 s. 8 d. a year, seems to have remained 
unaltered to the end of the reign. 2 They received, however, 
additional sums from time to time, as 1 rewards ’ for per- 
formances, which were charged to the separate account of 
the Chamber. 3 In 1503, under the leadership of John English, 
they attended the Princess Margaret to Edinburgh, for her 
wedding with James IV of Scotland. Here they 4 did their 
devoir ’, both on the day of the wedding, 8 August, and on 
the following days. On 11 August they played after supper, 
and on 13 August they played 4 a Moralite ’ after dinner. 4 

1 The documents in W. Campbell, Materials for a History of the Reign 
of Henry VII , are full for the period 1485-90. There is nothing of King's 
players, but certain * stuff ures ’ paid for by a warrant of 25 Nov. 1485 
(Campbell, i. 178) included goods delivered to John English, apparently 
a royal tailor or valet, * servant unto my said sovereign ’. 

2 Collier, i. 44, from a book of Exchequer payments, beginning Michael- 
mas 1493, in the Chapter-house (probably Misc. Books of the Treasury 
»f the Receipt of the Exchequer, 131), * xvij Die Maij [1494] John Englissh, 
Edwardo Maye, Rico Gibbeson, & John Hammond, Lusoribus Regis, alias, 
in lingua Anglicana, les pleyars of the kyngs enterluds, de feodis suis 
V mrc. p Ann: le home, per Ire Regis de privato Sigillo dormant de 
termino Michaelis alt: pte rec: denar: separatim p manus proprias, x mrc.'. 
The payment was continued half-yearly. Collier adds that Mr. Ouvry 
owned an original receipt signed by May and English for the salaries of 
the same four men. It is now Egerton MS. 2623 (3), f. 1, and appears 
to be a slip cut from some Exchequer record. F. Devon, Issues of the 
Exchequer , 516, gives similar payments for Michaelmas 1494 and Michael- 
mas 1503 ; it is in the latter that the names of William Rutter and John 
Scott appear. An Exchequer declaration of 1505-6 in Lansd. MS. 156, 
f. 135, has * To Richard Gibson, and other the kings plaiers, for their 
annuity for one yere, ^13 6s. 8 d.\ Henry, History of Britain, xii. 456, 
gives from an Exchequer annuity list of 1 507-8, ‘ Ricardo Gybson et aliis 
lusoribus dom. reg. £13 6s. 8 d.\ 

3 Collier, i. 49, quotes : (a) Account of Robert Fowler (1 501-2), * Oct.~26 

[1501], Itm to John Englishe for his pagent, £6 13s. 4 d. . . . Jan. 1 [1502] 
Itm, to the Kinges players, over 408 paid by Thomas Trollop, 208 * ; 
(b) Household Book of Henry VII (1492-1505, more correctly from Addl . 
MS. 7099 in Bentley, Excerpta Historica, 85), * Jan. 6 [1494] To the Kings 
Pleyers for a rewarde, £2 13s. 4 d. . . . Jan. 7 [1502] To John Englishe 
the Pleyer, 10s.' ; (c) The Kings Boke of Payments (1 506—9, apparently 
Misc. Books of the Treasury of the Receipt of the Exchequer , 214), * Jan. 7 
[1 509] To the kings players in rewarde, £2 *. Both (b) and (c) are Chamber 
Accounts . 4 Leland, Collectanea (ed. Hearne), iv. 265. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 


79 


The royal company continued under Henry VIII, who 
appears to have increased its numbers, and doubled the 
charge upon the Exchequer. 1 The financial records are, how- 
ever, a little complicated. The Exchequer officials presumably 
continued to regard the establishment as consisting of four 
members drawing fees of ten instead of five marks each. 2 
But the individual members were in fact paid on different 
scales. John English, the leader, got £6 13 s. 4 d. Others 
got £3 65. Sd. as before, and others again only two-thirds of 
this amount, £2 45. 5 d. By this arrangement, it was possible 
to maintain an actual establishment of from eight to ten 
within the limits of the Exchequer allowance. It seems also 
to have been found convenient to transfer the responsibility 
for some at least of the payments from the Exchequer to 
the Treasurer of the Chamber. 3 The same distinction between 
players of different grades is also reflected in the annual 
rewards paid by the Treasurer of the Chamber for Christmas 
performances. These were increased in amount, and for 
a time the general reward to the players as a whole was 
supplemented by an additional sum to the * old * players. 
Ultimately an amalgamated sum of £6 13 s. 4 d. became the 
customary reward for the company. 4 Details of a performance 
of Henry Medwall’s Finding of Truth on 6 January 1514 
are related by Collier from a document which cannot be 

1 Lansd. MS. 171, cited by Collier, i. 72, is in fact an Elizabethan 
document, but a list of fees and annuities (1516) in Brewer, ii. 874 has, 
amongst those granted by Henry VII, * John Englisshe and other players 
£13 6s. 8 d.’, and amongst those recently granted, ‘ John Englisshe and 
other players, in addition to the old annuity, £13 6s. 8 d \ 

2 Collier, i. 97, 115, gives an Exchequer payment of 1525-6, ‘Rico 
Hole et Georgio Mayler, et aliis lusonbus Dom. Regis, de foedis suis inter 
se ad x marcos per ann. sibi debit: pro festo Michaelis, anno xvij Regis 
nunc Henrici VIII recept. denar, per manus propnas, per litt. curr. 
665. 8d.\ and was informed by Mr. Devon of a similar payment of 
£3 6s. 8 d. in 1530, in which John Roll, Richard Hole, and Thomas Sudbury 
are named. A household list of c. 1526 (Brewer, iv. 869) gives as on 
yearly wages * Ric. Hole and other players, £6 135. 4 d.\ One later than 
March 1544 (Collier, i. 133) gives 8 players at £3 & s - 8d. each. 

3 Chamber Accounts (Brewer, v. 303 ; xiii. 2. 524 ; xiv. 2. 303 ; xvi. 178, 
698 ; xvii. 474 ; xx. 2. 515 ; Nicolas, xxviii ; Collier, i. 79, 96, 113, 116, 
117 ; Trevelyan Papers , i. 149, 157, 170, 177, 195, 203) give John English 
(1 521-31) at half-yearly ‘ fee ' or ‘ wages ' of £3 6s. Sd., John Slye or Slee 
(1539-40) at £1 13s. 4 d. half-yearly, and Richard Parrowe or Parlowe 
(1540-5, appointed Christmas 1538), George Birch (1538-45), Robert 
Hinstock (1538-45), and George Maylour (1538-40), at 165. 8 d. or ns. id. 
quarterly. 

4 Chamber Accounts (Brewer, ii. 1441 ; ni. 1533, &c. ; Nicolas, xxviii ; 
Collier, i. 76, 116). The reward for 1509-10 was £2 135. 4 d. \ during 
1 5 10-13, £3 6s. Sd. ; during 15 13-21, £3 6s. Sd. to the ‘players* and 
* £4 1 to the ‘ olde players ’ ; and during 1 529-41, £6 13 s. 4 d. 



8 o 


THE COMPANIES 


regarded as free from suspicion. 1 The name of Richard Gibson 
now disappears from the notices of the company. He may, 
likely enough, have given up playing on his appointment to 
be Porter and Yeoman Tailor of the Great Wardrobe. 2 But 
in his capacity of officer in charge of the Revels he must 
have maintained close relations with his former fellows, and 
his Account for 1510 records the delivery to John English 
of a ‘ red satin ladies garment, powdered, with tassels of 
silver of Kolen \ 8 English remained at the head of the 
company, and is traceable in the Chamber Accounts up to 
1531. John Scott died in 1528-9, in singular circumstances 
which are detailed by a contemporary chronicler. 4 Other 
names which come in succession before us are those of Richard 
Hole, George Maylor, George Birch, John Roll or Roo 
( d . 1539), Thomas Sudbury or Sudborough ( d . 1546), Robert 
Hinstock, Richard Parrowe, John Slye, and John Young. 5 
Some interesting information is disclosed by two lawsuits, 
in both of which George Maylor figured. The first of these 
was a dispute between John Rastell and Henry Walton as 
to the dilapidations of certain playing garments, during which 

1 Collier, i. 69, from a ‘ paper, folded up in the roll [of the Revels Account 
for 1 5 13-14] and in a different handwriting*, ‘ Inglyshe, and the oothers 
of the Kynges pleyers, after pleyed an Interluyt, whiche was wryten by 
Mayster Midwell, but yt was so long yt was not lykyd : yt was of the 
fyndyng of Troth, who was caryed away by ygnoraunce and ypocresy. 
The foolys part was the best, but the kyng departy d before the end to 
hys chambre.' According to Collier, the paper is signed by William 
Cornish and also contains a description of a Chapel interlude. But Brewer, 
who calendars the Revels Account fully, does not notice it, and according 
to A. W. Reed in T. L. S. (3 April 1919) it cannot be traced at the R. O. 

2 Cf. ch. iii ; Tudor Revels , 6. 

3 Brewer, ii. 1493. In 1546-7 they had 5 s. for the loan of garments 
to the Revels (Kempe, 71). 

4 Grey Friars Chronicle (C. S.), 34, * Also this same yere John Scotte, 
that was one of the kynges playeres, was put in Newgate for rebukynge 
of the shreffes, and was there a sennet, and at the last was ledde betwene 
two of the offecers from Newgate thorrow London and soe to Newgat 
agayne, and then was delyveryd home to hys howse ; but he toke such 
a thowte that he dyde, for he went in hys shurte ’. 

6 John Slye and John Yonge, mercer, had been players to Queen Jane 
before her death in 1537, and were concerned about 1538 in a Chancery 
suit about a horse hired ‘ to beare there playing garmentes ’ (Stopes, 
Shakespeare’s Environment, 235). Perhaps this explains the annuity of 
£1 105. $d. (id. a day) which Young drew from the Chamber during 
1540-2. But he obtained a patent as King’s player, with an annual fee 
of £3 6 s. Sd., on the death of Roo in 1539 (Brewer, xiv. 1. 423), and an 
* annuity * of £3 6s. 8d. on the death of Sudbury in 1 546 (Brewer, 
xxi. 2. 156). Collier, i. 134, cites a description of him in a fee list 
amongst the Fairfax MSS. as ‘ Maker of Interludes, Comedies, and 
Playes \ 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 81 

George Mayler, merchant tailor, aged 40, and George Birch, 
coriar, aged 32, were called to give evidence as to the value 
of the garments and their use for a royal banquet at Greenwich 
in 1527. 1 In the second Mayler was himself a party. He is 
here described as a glazier, and an agreement of November 
1528 is recited between him and one Thomas Arthur, tailor, 
whom he took as an apprentice for a year, promising to teach 
him to play and to obtain him admission into the King’s 
company and the right to the privileges (libertatem) thereof 
and ‘ the Kinges bage \ According to Mayler, he found 
Arthur meat and drink and 4 d. a day, but after seven weeks 
Arthur left him, beguiling away three of his covenant servants 
upon a playing tour in the provinces, out of which they made 
a profit of £30. He was, adds Mayler, ‘ right harde and dull 
too taike any lernynge, whereby he was nothinge meate or 
apte too bee in service with the Kinges grace too maike any 
plaiez or interludes before his highnes Arthur, on the other 
hand, alleged that it was Mayler who had broken the inden- 
tures, and sued him before the sheriffs of London for £26 
damages. Owing to the accident of Mayler’s being in Ludgate 
prison and unable to defend himself, the jury found against 
him for £4, and he appealed to Chancery to remove the action 
to that court. 2 The King’s men, even apart from their other 
occupations as Household servants or tradesmen, were not 
wholly dependent on the royal bounty. The reward at 
Christmas was supplemented by minor gifts from the Princess 
Mary, or from lords and ladies of the Court, such as the Duke 
of Rutland and the Countess of Devon ; 3 and the glamour 
of the King’s badge doubtless added to the liberality of the 
company’s reception in many a monastery, country mansion, 
and town hall. They are found during the reign at the 
priories of Thetford, Dunmow (1531-2), and Durham (1532-3), 
at the house of the Lestranges at Hunstanton (23 October 
1530), at New Romney (1526-7), Shrewsbury (1527, 1533, 
1540), Leicester (1531), Norwich (1533), Bristol (i535, *536, 
i537> I 54 I )> Cambridge (1537-8), Beverley (1540-1), and 
Maldon (1546-7). 4 A private performance by the King’s men 
forms an episode in the Elizabethan play of Sir Thomas More, 
although the Mason there named cannot be traced amongst 
their number. 

No important change in the status of the company is to 

1 Cf. Mediaeval Stage , ii. 183. 

2 G. H. Overend in N. S. S. Trans. (1877-9), 425. 

3 Collier, i. 93 ; Madden, Privy Purse Expenses of the Princess Mary , 
104, 140 ; Rutland MSS. iv. 270 ; Brewer, iv. 340, 

4 Cf. Murray, passim , and Mediaeval Stage, App. E. 

2229*2 G 



8 2 


the! companies 


be observed under Edward VI. Some of the existing members 
seem to have retired, and four new ones, Richard Coke, 
John Birch, Henry Heryot, and John Smyth, were appointed. 1 
The first three of these, together with two others, Richard 
Skinner and Thomas Southey, received a warrant to the Master 
of the Great Wardrobe on 15 February 1548, for the usual 
livery assigned to yeomen officers of the household, which 
consisted of three yards of red cloth, with an allowance of 
3 s. 4 d. for the embroidering thereon of the royal initials. 2 
The fees of these five, and of George Birch and Robert 
Hinstock, who were survivors from Henry VIII’s time, are 
traceable, as well as the annual reward of £6 13 s. 4 d. y in the 
Chamber Accounts. 3 Each now got £3 6 s. 8d. a year, under 
a warrant of 24 December 1548. The same names appear 
in a list of 30 September 1532, with the exception of Robert 
Hinstock, whose place had probably been taken by John 
Browne, appointed as from the previous Christmas by a 
warrant of 9 June 1552, which introduced the innovation of 
granting him a livery allowance of £1 3s. 4 d. a year instead 
of the actual livery. 4 If we suppose that John Smith and John 
Young continued to be borne on the Exchequer pay-roll, the 
total number of eight interlude-players provided for in fee- 
lists of Edward’s reign is made up. 6 John Smith is probably 
to be identified with the 4 disard * or jester of that name 
who took part in George Ferrers’s Christmas gambols of 
1552-3. 6 John Young may be the 4 right worshipful esquire 
John Yung ’ to whom William Baldwin dedicated his Beware 
the Cat in 1553. He certainly survived into Elizabeth’s 
reign and was still drawing an annuity of £3 6 s. 8d. as 4 agitator 
comediarum ’ in 1569-70. 7 I have not noticed any provincial 
performances by the company during 1547-53, except at 

1 Royal MS. 7, C. xvi, f. 97 (cited Collier, i. 137). The names are in 
a list of servants ‘ nuely in ordinary of the Chamber \ and some illegible 
names of players are in an accompanying list of * Offycers in ordynary 
of the Chamber of the late Kynges Majestie now discharged \ 

2 Lord Chamberlain's Records , Misc. v. 127, f. 23 (also with the error 
4 E. and P.’ in Sullivan, 249), * three broade ye^des of redd wollen clothe 
for a liuery coate of suche prices as the yeomen officers of oure howseholde 
are accustomed to haue and iij 8 and iiij d vnto euery of them for the 
Enbrauderinge of theire saide coates withe the lettres E and R on the 
backe and on the breste \ 

8 Chamber Accounts in Trevelyan Papers, i. 195-205 ; ii. 17-31, and 
Collier, i. 136, 138, 148. 

4 S. P. D. Edw. VI, xiv. 

5 Stowe MS. 571, f. 27 v ; Harl. MS. 240, f. 13. 

6 Feuillerat, Edw. and Mary , 89, 90, 97, 98, 119 ; cf. Mediaeval Stage, 
i. 406, where I think I was in error in taking John Smith as a name 
assumed by Will Somers. 

7 Hist. MSS. iii. 230, from book of annuities at Penshurst. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 83 

> 

Maldon in 1549-50, but they are referred to more than once 
in the archives of the Revels. The Revels Office made them 
an oven and weapons of wood at Shrovetide 1548 and a seven- 
headed dragon at Shrovetide 1549. At Christmas 1551-2 the 
Privy Council gave them a warrant to borrow 4 apparell and 
other fornyture 1 from the Master, and Lord Darcy gave 
John Birch and John Browne another for garments to serve 
in an interlude before the King on 6 January 1552.* William 
Baldwin, in his Beware the Cat> relates that during the 
Christmas of 1552-3, they were learning 4 a play of Esop’s 
Crowe, wherin the moste part of the actors were birds *. 2 
Their only other play of which the name is known is that of 
Self Love , for which Sir Thomas Chaloner gave them 20 s. 
on a Shrove Monday in 1551-3. 3 

The company no doubt took their share in Court revels 
during the earlier part of Mary’s reign. But when the eclipse 
of gaiety came upon her later years they travelled. They 
are noted as the King and Queen’s men in 1555-6 at Ipswich 
and Gloucester, in 1557 at Bristol, and in 1558 at Barnstaple, 
and as the Queen’s men in 1555 at Leicester, in 1555-6 at 
Beverley, in 1556-7 at Beverley, Oxford, Norwich and Exeter, 
and in 1557-8 at Beverley, Leicester, Maldon, Dover, Lyme 
Regis, and Barnstaple. The nominal establishment continued 
to be eight. 4 But Heriot disappears after 1552 and John Birch, 
Coke, and Southey after 1556, and their vacancies do not 
seem to have been filled. 5 

Under Elizabeth the interlude players were certainly 
a moribund folk. They were reappointed 4 during pleasure ’ 
under a warrant of 25 December 1559, and apparently 
Edmund Strowdewike and William Reading took the place 
of George Birch and Skinner. 6 They drew their fees of 
£3 65. 8 d. and livery allowances of £1 3 s. 4 d. from the Treasurer 
of the Chamber. The eight posts figure on the fee-lists long 
after there were no holders left. 7 The last 4 reward ’ to the 

1 Feuillerat, Edw . and Mary, 31, 39, 57, 86. 

2 Collier, i. 149. The reference to Ferrers' ‘ divine ’ and * astronomer * 
(cf. Mediaeval Stage, i. 407) fixes the date. 

3 Mediaeval Stage, ii. 201, from Lansd. MS. 824, f. 24. 

4 Fee-list in collection of Soc. of Antiquaries, cited by Collier, i. 161. 

5 Chamber Accounts in Collier, i. 161 ; Declared Accounts ( Pipe Office ), 
541, m. 2 V . 

6 Reading was a London player in 1550 (App. D, No. v). The Chamber 
Accounts for the first few years of Elizabeth show an annuity to a George 
Birch under a warrant of 7 Jan. 1560. 

7 Eight players of interludes at £3 6s. 8 d. each are in the fee-lists (cf. 
vol. i, p. 29), Stowe MS. 571, f. 148 (c. 1575-80), Sloane MS. 3194, f. 38 
(1585), Stowe MS. 571, f. 168 (c. 1587-90), Lansd. MS. 171, f. 250 
( c . 1587-91), S. P. D. Eliz. ccxxi, f. 16 ( c . 1588-93), H.O. 256 ( c . 1598), 

G 2 



84 


THE COMPANIES 


company, not improbably for the anti-papal farce of 6 January 
1559, is to be found in the Chamber Account for 1558-60. 
It may be inferred that they never again played at Court. 
They were allowed to dwindle away. Browne and Reading 
died in 1563, Strowdewike on 3 June 1568, and Smith survived 
in solitary dignity until 1580. 1 Up to about 1573 he kept 
up some sort of provincial organization, doubtless with the 
aid of unofficial associates, and the Queen’s players are 
therefore traceable in many municipal Account-books. In 
October 1559 they were at Bristol and before Christmas at 
Leicester, in 1559-60 at Gloucester, in 1560-1 at Barnstaple, 
in 1561 at Faversham, 2 in October-December 1561 at Leicester, 
in 1561-2 at Gloucester, Maldon, and Beverley, in July 1562 
at Grimsthorpe, and on 4 October at Ipswich, in August 1563 
at Bristol, in 1563-4 at Maldon, on 12 and 20 March 1564 at 
Ipswich again, and on 2 August at Leicester, in 1564-5 at 
Abingdon, Maldon, and Gloucester, in 1565-6 at Maldon, 
Oxford, and Shrewsbury, in July 1566 at Bristol, before 
29 September at Leicester, and on 9 October at Ipswich, 
in July 1567 at Bristol, in 1567-8 at Oxford and Gloucester, 
in 1568-9 at Abingdon, Ipswich, and Stratford-upon-Avon, 

and with the error of ^3 6 s. in Hargreave MS. 215, f. 2i v (c. 1592-5), 
Lord Chamberlain's Records, v. 33, f. i9 v (1593), Stowe MS. 572, f. 35 v 
( c . 1592-6), Harl. MS. 2078, f. i8 v (c. 1592-6). The inaccurate Cott. MS. 
Titus , B. iii, f. 176 ( c . 1585-93) gives two ' Plaiers on Interludes’ at 
6s. The normal entry recurs in the Jacobean Lansd. MS. 272, f. 27 
(1614) and Stowe MS. 575, f. 24 (1616), but a group of the early part 
of the reign (Addl. MS. 35848, f. 19 ; Addl. MS. 38008, f. 58 v ; Soc. Antiq. 
MSS. 74, 75) have ‘ Plaiers on the In lute ’ or * on in Lutes ’, at ^3 6s. 8 d. 
or £3 6s., which looks like an attempt to rationalize the Cotton MS. 
entry. And Stowe MS. 574, f. i6 v , has ‘ Players on Lute ’ at ^3 6s. 8 d., 
which some one has corrected by inserting the normal entry. All this 
suggests that many copyists of fee-lists in the seventeenth century con- 
fused the post of interlude player with that of a lute player, and the 
former was therefore probably obsolete, and its fee no longer paid to the 
royal players of the day (cf. ch. x). I cannot agree with E. Law, Shake- 
speare a Groom of the Chamber, 26, 64, that the interlude players survived 
under James as * mummers, who, perhaps, sang in a sort of recitative 
at masques and anti-masques 

1 Chamber Declared Accounts (Pipe Office), 541, passim, 542, m. 3 ; 
Collier, i. 236 ; Cunningham, xxvii. I do not know how long John Young 
continued to draw his Exchequer * annuity ', but presumably he had 
retired on it. 

2 Fleay, 43, says, ‘ There was no specific company called the Queen's 
players till 1583; it was a generic title applied to any company who 
prepared plays for the Queen’s amusement. In 1561 the players probably 
were the Earl of Leicester’s servants.’ I need hardly say that I do not 
accept this, which would not explain the disappearance of the ‘ Queen’s ’ 
from provincial records between 1573 and 1583. For another use of the 
same improvised theory by Mr. Fleay, cf. App. D, No. lxxv. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 85 

in August 1569 at Bristol, and on 7 December at Oxford, 
in 1569-70 at Gloucester and Maldon, before 29 September 
1570 at Leicester, in 1570-1 at Winchester, and during 
October-December 1571 at Leicester, in 1571-2 at Oxford, 
on 23 May 1572 at Nottingham, and on 20 November at 
Maldon, in 1572-3 at Ipswich, on 7 January 1573 at Beverley, 
and in 1573 at Winchester. This list is not exhaustive. 1 A 
reward to ‘ the Queens Majesty’s men ’ in the Doncaster 
accounts for 1575 can hardly be assumed to refer to actors. 

ii. THE EARL OF LEICESTER’S MEN 

Robert Dudley ; 5th s. of John, 1st Duke of Northumberland, 
nat. 24 June 1532 or 1533 ; m. (1) Amy, d..of Sir John Robsart, 4 June 
1550, (2) Douglas Lady Sheffield, d. of William, 1st Lord Howard of 
Effingham, May 1573, (3) Lettice Countess of Essex, d. of Sir Francis 
Knollys, 1578 ; Master of the Horse, 11 Jan. 1559 ; High Steward of 
Cambridge, 1562; Earl of Leicester, 29 Sept. 1564; Chancellor of 
Oxford, 31 Dec. 1564; Lord Steward, 1584-8; Absolute Governor 
of United Provinces, 25 Jan. 1586-12 Apr. 1588 ; ob. 4 Sept. 1588. 

The earliest mention of Lord Robert Dudley’s players is 
in a letter which he wrote in June 1559 to the Earl of Shrews- 
bury, Lord President of the North, as Lord Lieutenant of 
Yorkshire, asking licence for them to perform in that county, 
in accordance with the proclamation of 16 May 1559. 2 The 
terms of the letter suggest that the company may already 
have played in London, but it is probable, as nothing is said 
of a hearing by the Queen, that they had not been at Court. 
They were there at each Christmas from 1560-1 to 1562-3, 
and then not for a decade. They were in 1558-9 at Norwich, 
in 1559-60 at Oxford, Saffron Walden, and Plymouth, in 
July 1560 at Bristol, in October 1561 at Grimsthorpe, in 
1561-2 at Oxford, Maldon, and Ipswich, in September 1562 
at Bristol, where they are called 4 Lord Dudley’s ’ players, 
on 12 November 1563 at Leicester, and on 17 November at 
Ipswich, in 1563-4 at Maldon, on 2 January 1564 at Ipswich, 
and on 1 July at Leicester. They are also found, as the 
Earl of Leicester’s, in 1564-5 at Maldon, on 6 April 1565 at 
York, on 11 August 1569 at Nottingham, in January 1570 
at Bristol, on 4 May 1570 at Oxford, and in October-December 
at Leicester, in 1570- 1 at Abingdon, Barnstaple, and Glouces- 
ter, on 9 August 1571 at Saffron Walden, 3 in October- 

1 Murray, i. 19, adds records from other towns, and A. Clark (jo N. Q. 
xi. 41) for^Saffron Walden. 

* App. D, No. xi. 

8 Nichols, Eliz. i. 280, ‘ To my L. of Leyester’s men for a reward, 
25. 6 d.\ Fleay, 18, says that the amount is too smaU to favour the 



86 THE COMPANIES 

December at Leicester, in the same year at Beverley, on 15 July 
1572 at Ipswich, and on 20 August at Nottingham. The 
gap in my records between 1565 and 1569 is bridged in the 
fuller list covering other towns given by Mr. Murray. 1 
Information as to the company in 1572 is derived from the 
signatures to a letter asking for appointment by Leicester, 
not merely as liveried retainers but as household servants, 
in order to meet the terms of the proclamation of 3 January 
in that year. 2 

To the right honorable Earle of Lecester, their good lord and master. 

Maye yt please your honour to understande that forasmuche as there 
is a certayne Procalmation out for the revivinge of a Statute as touch- 
inge retayners,as youre Lordshippe knoweth better than we can enforme 
you thereof : We therfore, your humble Servaunts and daylye Oratours 
your players, for avoydinge all inconvenients that maye groweby 
reason of the saide Statute, are bold to trouble your Lordshippe with 
this our Suite, humblie desiringe your honor that (as you have bene 
alwayes our good Lord and Master) you will now vouchsafe to reteyne 
us at this present as your houshold Servaunts and daylie wayters, not 
that we meane to crave any further stipend or benefite at your Lord- 
shippes hands but our lyveries as we have had, and also your honors 
License to certifye that we are your houshold Servaunts when we shall 
have occasion to travayle amongst our frendes as we do usuallye once 
a yere, and as other noble-mens Players do and have done in tyme past, 
Wherebie we maye enjoye our facultie in your Lordshippes name as 
we have done hertofore. Thus beyinge bound and readie to be alwayes 
at your Lordshippes commandmente we committ your honor to the 
tuition of the Almightie. 

Long may your Lordshippe live in peace, 

A pere of noblest peres : 

In helth welth and prosperitie 
Redoubling Nestor's yeres. 

Your Lordshippes Servaunts most bounden 

lames Burbage. 

Iohn Perkinne. 

Iohn Laneham. 

William Iohnson. 

Roberte Wilson. 

Thomas Clarke. 

supposition that these were players. But Elizabeth was at Saffron Walden 
at the time, and a present was made to the Master of the Revels of a podd 
of oysters costing no more than 35. 6 d. Probably Saffron Walden was 
an economical place, or the payment was only for some speech. 

1 Murray, i. 41. 

* Printed in M. S. C. i. 348, from MS. F. 10 (213) in the Marquis of 
Bath's collection at Longleat ; also in 3 N. Q. xi. 350. The letter is 
undated but followed Procl, 663, on which cf . ch. viii and App. D, No. xix. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 8; 

Several of these men were to achieve distinction in their 
quality * ; of none of them is there any earlier record, 
unless John Perkin is to be identified with the Parkins who 
had been in 1552-3 one of the train of the Lord of Misrule. 1 
By 6 December 1571 the company were in London. 2 Three 
years later they obtained a very singular favour in the patent 
of 10 May 1574, the general bearings of which have already 
been discussed. 3 

pro Iacobo Burbage Elizabeth by the grace of God quene of 
& aliis de licencia England, &c. To all Iustices, Mayors, 
speciali Sheriffes, Baylyffes, head Constables, vnder 

Constables, and all other our officers and mynisters gretinge. Knowe 
ye that we of oure especiall grace, certen knowledge, and mere mocion 
haue licenced and auctorised, and by these presentes do licence and 
auctorise, oure lovinge Subiectes, lames Burbage, Iohn Perkyn, Iohn 
Lanham, William Iohnson, and Roberte Wilson, seruauntes to oure 
trustie and welbeloued Cosen and Counseyllor the Earle of Leycester, 
to vse, exercise, and occupie the arte and facultye of playenge Com- 
medies, Tragedies, Enterludes, stage playes, and such other like as 
they haue alredie vsed and studied, or hereafter shall vse and studie, 
aswell for the recreacion of oure loving subiectes, as for oure solace and 
pleasure when we shall thincke good to see them, as also to vse and 
occupie all such Instrumentes as they haue alredie practised, or here- 
after shall practise, for and during our pleasure. And the said Com- 
medies, Tragedies, Enterludes, and stage playes, to gether with their 
musicke, to shewe, publishe, exercise, and occupie to their best com- 
modity during all the terme aforesaide, aswell within oure Citie of 
London and liberties of the same, as also within the liberties and 
fredomes of anye oure Cities, townes, Bouroughes &c whatsoeuer as 

1 Mediaeval Stage , i. 406 ; Kempe, 47. The garments provided for 
Ferrers by the Revels included fools’ coats for 4 Children, John Smyth, 

Ayer apparent . . . Seame 2, Parkins 3, Elderton 4 '. 

3 App. D, No. xviii. 

3 Cf. ch. ix. The patent is printed from the Patent Roll in M. S. C, 

i. 262 ; also from a copy of the entry on the Patent Roll preserved amongst 
Rymer’s papers in Sloane MS. 4625 by Steevens, Shakespeare (1773). 

ii. 156, and therefrom in Variorum, iii. 47. This text omits the words 
‘ oure Citie of London and liberties of the same as also within \ Collier, 
i. 203, and Hazlitt, E. D. S. 25, printed the Signet Bill, erroneously 
describing it as the Privy Seal, from the State Paper Office. This has 
the omitted words, and Collier correctly explains the omission in Steevens’s 
text as due to an inaccurate copyist, pointing in proof to the words 4 in 
oure said Citye of London '. This did not, however, prevent Fleay, 45, 
from asserting that in the Patent 4 an alteration had been made from 
the Privy Seal ’, on the ground that its terms ‘ infringed on the powers 
of the City authorities ’. Such an alteration not merely did not take 
place, but would have been a diplomatic impossibility, as the Patent Roll 
was made up, not from the Letters Patent, but from the Privy Seals on 
which these were based* 



THE COMPANIES 


86 

without the same, thoroughte oure Realme of England. Willynge and 
commaundinge yow and everie of yowe, as ye tender our pleasure, 
to permytte and suffer them herein withoute anye yowre lettes, 
hynderaunce, or molestacion duringe the terme aforesaid, anye acte, 
statute, proclamacion, or commaundement heretofore made, or here- 
after to be made, to the contrarie notwithstandinge. Prouyded that 
the said Commedies, Tragedies, enterludes, and stage playes be by 
the master of oure Revells for the tyme beynge before sene & allowed, 
and that the same be not published or shewen in the tyme of common 
prayer, or in the tyme of greate and common plague in oure said Citye 
of London." In wytnes whereof &c. wytnes oure selfe at Westminster 
the x th daye of Maye. per breve de priuato sigillo 

The names in this patent only differ from those in the letter 
of 1572 by the omission of Thomas Clarke. By the time of 
its issue Leicester’s men were again a Court company. They 
had made their reappearance at the Christmas of 1572-3 
with three plays, all given before the end of December. 
They continued to appear in every subsequent year until the 
formation of the Queen’s men in 1583. The building of the 
Theatre by James Burbadge in 1576 gave them a valuable 
head-quarters in London 1 ; but they are still found from time 
to time about the provinces. Their detailed adventures are 
as follows. In 1572-3 they were at Stratford-on-Avon, on 
8 August 1573 at Beverley, on 1 September at Nottingham, 
and in October at Bristol. On 26 December they played 
Predor and Lucia at Court, on 28 December Mamillia , and on 
21 February 1574 Philemon and Philecia . In 1573-4 they were 
at Oxford and Leicester, on June 1574 at Maldon, on 3 Dec- 
ember at Canterbury. In 1574 they were also at Doncaster, 
where they played in the church. For the Court they rehearsed 
Panecia t and this was probably either their play of 26 Decem- 
ber in which ‘ my Lord of Lesters boyes ’ appeared, or that 
of 1 January 1575, in which there were chimney-sweepers. 
From 9 to 27 July 1575 Elizabeth paid her historic visit to 
Kenilworth, and there is no proof, but much probability, 
that the company were called upon to take their part in her 
entertainment. Its chronicler, Robert Laneham, may well 
have been a kinsman of the player. I have not come across 
them elsewhere this year, except at Southampton. They 
played at Court on 28 December 1575 and 4 March 1576, 
and are described in the account for their payment as 4 Burbag 

1 Probably they occupied the Theatre, at any rate in summer, until 
1583. A letter of Gabriel Harvey's in the summer of 1579 mentions 
* Lycesters \ the * Theater and * Wylson \ but in no very definite con- 
nexion with each other (cf. p. 4). The Privy Council letter of 23 Dec. 
1579, for their toleration at the Blackfriars, printed by Collier, New Facts, 
9, js a forgery (cf. ch. xvii). 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 


8g 


and his company \ A record of them at Ipswich in 1575-6 
as 4 my Lorde Robertes ’ men is probably misdated. On 30 Dec- 
ember 1576 they acted The Collier at Court. In 1576-7 they 
were at Stratford-on-Avon, in September 1577 at Newcastle, 
and between 13 and 19 October at Bristol, where they gave 
Myngo , 1 In 1577-8 they were also at Bath. They were at 
Court on 26 December 1577 and were to have performed 
again on 11 February 1578, but were displaced for Lady 
Essex’s men. They may have been at Wanstead in May 
1578 when Leicester entertained Elizabeth with Sidney’s 
The May Lady , On 1 September they were at Maldon, on 
9 September at Ipswich, and on 3 November at Lord North’s 
at Kirtling. They played A Greek Maid at Court on 4 January 
1579. 2 Their play on 28 December 1579 fell through because 
Elizabeth could not be present, but they played on 6 January 
1580. In 1579-80 they were at Ipswich and Durham, and 
from 15 to 17 May 1580 at Kirtling. Vice-Chancellor Hatcher’s 
letter of 21 January 1580 to Burghley about Oxford’s men {vide 
infra) shows that Leicester’s had then recently been refused 
leave to play at Cambridge. They played Delight at Court 
on 26 December and appeared again on 7 February 1581. 
That Wilson was still a member of the company in 1581 is 
shown by the reference to him in the curious Latin letter 
written by one of Lord Shrewsbury’s players on 25 April 
of that year. 3 In the following winter they did not come to 
Court, but on 10 February 1583 they returned with Telomo . 4 

The best of Leicester’s men, including Laneham, Wilson, 
and Johnson, appear to have joined the Queen’s company 
on its formation in March 1583. Probably the Queen’s also 
took over the Theatre. James Burbadge himself may have 
given up acting. Nothing more is heard of Leicester’s men 
until 1584-5, when players under his name visited Coventry f 
Leicester, Gloucester, and Norwich. They were at Dover in June 
1585, and at Bath as late as August. These may have been 
either the relics of the old company, or a new one formed to 
attend the Earl in his expedition to aid the States-General 
in the Low Countries. He was appointed to the command of 
the English forces on 28 August, and reached Flushing on 

1 I should think the ‘ Myngs * of Murray, ii. 214, and Collier, North - 
hrooke , viii, more likely to be palaeographically accurate than the * Myngo * 
of J. Latimer in 9 N. Q. xi. 444 and his Sixteenth Century Bristol, But a 
song of ‘ Monsieur Mingo ' exists in a setting by Orlando de Lassus (cf 
is. if. R. xxxiii. 83), and is quoted in 2 Hen, IV, v. iii. 78, and Summer's 
Last Will and Testament , 968. 

8 Cf. App. D, No. xl. 

8 Cf. ch. xv, s.v. Baylye. 

4 Murray, i. 41, gives additional provincial records for 1576-82. 



90 


THE COMPANIES 


io December. The pageants in his honour at Utrecht, 
Leyden, and the Hague were remarkable. Stowe records 
festivities at Utrecht on St. George’s Day, 23 April 1586. 
These included an after-dinner show of ‘ dauncing, vauting, 
and tumbling, with the forces of Hercules, which gave great 
delight to the strangers, for they had not seene it before *.* 
It is a reasonable inference that the performers in The Forces 
of Hercules were English. 1 2 And on 24 March 1586 Sir Philip 
Sidney, writing to Walsingham from Utrecht, says : 

* I wrote to yow a letter by Will, my lord of Lester’s jesting 
plaier, enclosed in a letter to my wife, and I never had answer 
thereof ... I since find that the knave deliverd the letters to my 
ladi of Lester.’ 3 

That the ‘ jesting plaier * was William Shakespeare is on 
the whole less likely than that he was the famous comic 
actor, William Kempe ; and this theory is confirmed by 
a mention in an earlier letter of 12 November 1585 from 
Thomas Doyley at Calais to Leicester himself of ‘ Mr. Kemp, 
called Don Gulihelmo ’, as amongst those remaining at 
Dunkirk. 4 Leicester returned to England in November 
1586. ‘ Wilhelm Kempe, instrumcntist ’ and his lad ‘ Daniell 
Jonns’ were at the Danish Court at Helsingor in August 
and September of the same year ; and so, from 17 July to 
18 September, were five 4 instrumentister och springere * 
whose names may evidently be anglicized as Thomas Stevens, 
George Bryan, Thomas King, Thomas Pope, and Robert 
Percy (cf. ch. xiv). Some or all of these men are evidently 
the company of English comedians referred to by Thomas 
Heywood as commended by the Earl of Leicester to Frederick II 
of Denmark. Stevens and his fellows, but not apparently 

1 Stowe, Annates, 717, from a description by William Segar. 

2 The show itself was perhaps of Italian origin, for on 17 June 1572 
the Earl of Lincoln was entertained at Paris by the Duke of Anjou 
(2 Ellis, iii. 12, from Cott. MS. Vesp. F. vi, f. 93) with ‘ an Italian comedie, 
which eandid, vaulting with notable supersaltes and through hoopes, and 
last of all the Antiques, of carying of men one uppon an other which 
som men call labores Herculis \ 

3 J. Bruce from Harl. MS. 287, f. 1, in Who was Will , my Lord of 
Leicester’s jesting player ? ( Sh . Soc. Papers , i. 88). Bruce thinks that 

* Will * might be Johnson, Kempe, or Sly, but not Shakespeare, whose 

* earliest works bear upon them the stamp of a mind far too contemplative 
and refined * for Sidney to call him * knave * and ‘ jesting player \ I do 
not subscribe to the reasoning. W. J. Thoms, Three Notelets on Shake- 
speare, 120, upholds the Shakespeare theory, and attempts to support it 
by evidence of military knowledge in the plays. 

4 Wright, Eliz. ii. 268, from Cott. MS. Galba C. viii ; cf. M. L. R. 
iv. 88. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 


9i 


5 

Kempe, went on to Dresden, Some of them ultimately 
became Lord Strange’s men. But it seems to me very 
doubtful whether, as is usually suggested, they passed direct 
into his service from that of Leicester. 1 They did not leave 
Dresden until 17 July 1587. But Leicester’s were at Exeter 
on 23 March 1586. They played at Court on 27 December 
1586, and were in London about 25 January 1587. They were 
at Abingdon, Bath, Lathom, Coventry, Leicester, Oxford, 
Stratford-on-Avon, Dover, Canterbury, Marlborough, South- 
ampton, Exeter, Gloucester, and Norwich during 1586-7. 
Kempe may, of course, have been with them on these occa- 
sions ; but if Stevens and the rest passed as Leicester’s in the 
Low Countries, it is likely that they ceased to do so when 
they went to Denmark. 

Finally, Leicester’s men were at Coventry, Reading, Bath, 
Maidstone, Dover, Plymouth, Gloucester, York, Saffron 
Walden, and probably Exeter in 1587-8. 2 On 4 September 
they were at Norwich, and here William Stonage, a cobbler, 
was committed to prison at their suit, ‘ for lewd words uttered 
against the ragged staff \ 3 As late as 14 September they did 
not yet know that the lord in whose name they wore this 
badge was dead, for on that day, unless the records are again 
in error, they were still playing at Ipswich. 4 

iii. LORD RICH’S MEN 

Richard Rich ; nat. c. 1496 ; cr. 1st Baron Rich, 26 Feb. 1548 ; 
Lord Chancellor, 23 Oct. 1548 — 21 Dec. 1551 ; m. Elizabeth Jenks ; 
ob. 12 June 1567. 

Robert, s. of 1st Baron ; nat. c. 1537 ; succ. as 2nd Baron, 1567 ; 
ob. 1581. 

The company was at Ipswich on 3 May 1564, Saffron 
Walden in 1563-4, Maldon in 1564-5, York on 6 April 1565, 

1 Fleay, 82 ; but cf. Lee, 36, and pp. 124, 272. The thing is complicated 
by the influence of Malone's suggestion ( Variorum, ii. 166) that Shakespeare 
might have left Stratford with Leicester’s men on a visit to the town. 
This assumes its most fantastic form in the suggestion of Lee 1 , 33, that 
Shakespeare was already in London, but ‘ Shakespeare’s friends may have 
called the attention of the strolling players to the homeless youth, rumours 
of whose search for employment about the London theatres had doubtless 
reached Stratford ’. 

8 At Exeter they are called the Lord Steward’s, certainly not the 
Marquis of Winchester's, as Murray, ii. 95, suggests, for he was never 
Steward of Elizabeth’s household. 

3 Norfolk Archaeology, xiii. 11. 

4 J. M. Cowper, in X R. Hist. Soc. Trans, i. 218, records a performance 
by ‘ my Lord of Leicester’s men ’ at Faversham in 1589-90 ; but I think 
this must be an error. 



9 * 


THE COMPANIES 


and Ipswich on 31 July 1567. Then it secured a footing in 
London, and appeared at Court during the Christmas of 
1567-8, on 26 December 1568, and on 5 February 1570. On 
2 February 1570 it played at the Lincoln’s Inn Candlemas 
‘Post Revels’. 1 It was also at Canterbury in 1569, Saffron 
Walden in 1569-70, and Maldon in 1570. Presumably it was 
a later company to which Gabriel Harvey referred in 1579 
(cf. p. 4), and the death of Lord Rich in 1581 might naturally 
have led to its disbandment or change of service. 

iv. LORD ABERGAVENNY’S MEN 

Henry Neville, s. of George, 3rd Lord Abergavenny ; succ. as 4th 
Lord, 1535 ; ob. 1586. 

The only London record of this company is a civic licence 
for it of 29 January 1572 (App. D, No. xxi), but it is found in 
provincial records at Dover, Canterbury, Leicester, Bristol, 
and Faversham in 1571 and 1572, and at Ludlow in 1575-6. 

v. THE EARL OF SUSSEX’S MEN 

Thomas Radcliffe, s, of Henry, 2nd Earl ; nat . c . 1526 ; m. (1) Eliza- 
beth, d. of Thomas Earl of Southampton, (2) Frances, d. of Sir William 
Sidney, 26 Apr. 1555 ; succ. as 3rd Earl, 17 Feb. 1557 ; Lord Chamber- 
lain, 13 July 1572 ; ob. 9 June 1583. 

Henry Radcliffe, s. of Henry, 2nd Earl ; nat. c. 1530 ; m. Honora, 
d. of Anthony Pound, before 24 Feb. 1561 ; succ. as 4th Earl, 1583 ; 
ob. 14 Dec. 1593. 

Robert Radcliffe, s. of 4th Earl ; nat. c. 1569 ; m. (1) Bridget, d. of 
Sir Charles Morison, who ob. Dec. 1623, (2) Frances Shute ; succ. as 
5th Earl, 1593 ; acting Earl Marshal, 1597, 1601 ; ob. 22 Sept. 1629. 

The third Earl of Sussex had a company, which proved 
one of the most long-lived of the theatrical organizations of 
Elizabeth’s time and held together, now in London and now 
in the provinces, under no less than three earls. It first 
makes its appearance at Nottingham on 16 March 1569, at 
Maldon in 1570, on 28 January 1571, and on 20 August 1572, 
at Ipswich in 1571-2, at Canterbury and Dover in 1569 and 
15 70, and in 1569-70 at Bristol, Gloucester, and Ludlow, 
where it was of six men. Sussex became Chamberlain in 
July 1572 and in the following winter his company came to 
the Court, whose Christmases it helped to enliven pretty 
regularly until the death of its first patron in 1583. As I have 
shown elsewhere (ch. vi), Sussex seems to have had occasional 

1 J. D. Walker, The Black Books of Lincoln's Inn , i. 374, gives the name 
as * Lord Roche \ but this is probably a mistake. Viscount Roche of 
Fermoy in Ireland is not likely to have had players in London. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 


93 


deputies in Lord Howard of Effingham and Lord Hunsdon 
during his term of office, but it is probably justifiable to assume 
that, when the Chamberlain’s men are referred to at any 
time during 1572-83, Sussex’s men are meant, and in 1577 
and 1581 there is clear evidence that the names are used 
synonymously. Oddly enough, Howard’s men are also 
referred to in one record of 1577 (cf. P- I 34) as the Chamber- 
lain’s, but that is probably a slip. The detailed history of 
the company during this period is as follows. In 1572-3 
they were at Bath, in July 1573 at Leicester, on 14 September 
at Nottingham, in 1573-4 at Coventry, in 1574, on some date 
before 29 September, at Leicester again, on 13 July at 
Maldon, and in September at Wollaton (Francis Willoughby’s). 
They rehearsed two Court plays for Christmas on 14 December, 
Phedrastus and Phigon and Lucia , but in the end did not 
give a performance. In 1574-5 they were at Gloucester, 
in 1575 at Maldon, and before 29 September at Leicester. 
They played at Court on 2 February 1576. Their payee was 
John Adams, the only actor whose name is recorded in 
connexion with the company. In 1575-6 they were at 
Ipswich, on 27 July 1576 at Cambridge, and between 29 July 
and 5 August at Bristol, where they played The Red Knight . 
On 2 February 1577 they played The Cynocephali at Court. 
In 1576-7 they were at Coventry and Bath, on 30 May 1577 
at Ipswich, and on 31 August at Nottingham. On 2 February 
1578 they played at Court. In 1577-8 they were at Bath, 
on 15 July 1578 at Maldon, in the same year at Bristol, and 
in 1578-9 at Bath. Thereafter their activities seem to have 
been mainly confined to London. They were named by the 
Privy Council to the Lord Mayor among the Court companies 
for the Christmas of 1578-9 (App. D, No. xl), and played 
The Cruelty of a Stepmother on 28 December 1578, The Rape 
of the Second Helen on 6 January, and Murderous Michael on 
3 March 1579. In the following winter their pieces were 
The Duke of Milan and the Marquess of Mantua on 26 Decem- 
ber, Portio and Demorantes on 2 February, and Sarpedon on 
16 February 1580. 1 The names of their Court plays on 
27 December 1580 and 2 February 1581 are unfortunately 
not recorded. On 14 September they recur in the provinces, 
at Nottingham. 2 They missed the next winter at Court, and 
made their last appearance there for a decade in Ferrar on 
6 January 1583. 

1 J. de Perott (Rev. Germ. Feb. 1914) suggests that Portio and De- 
morantes may be the Lamorat and Porcia of the French version (1548) 
of Amadis de Grecia (1542), viii. 56. 

2 Murray, i. 307, and A. Clark (jo N . Q. xii. 41) add records for 1573-83. 



94 


THE COMPANIES 


Either the death of their patron in June 1583, or possibly 
the formation of the Queen’s men in the previous March, 
eclipsed them, but in 1585 they reappear as a provincial com- 
pany, visiting Dover on 15 May, Bath on 22 July and in May 

1586, Coventry twice in 1585-6, Ipswich in 1586-7, York in 

1587, Leicester before Michaelmas of the same year, and 
Coventry in September. Here they were playing under the 
name of the Countess of Sussex. In 1587-8 they were at 
Coventry and Bath, on 18 April 1588 at Ipswich, on 17 February 
1589 at Leicester, on 1 March at Ipswich, on 19 November 
at Leicester again, in the course of 1589 at Faversham, and 
in 1588-9 at Aldeburgh. On 17 February 1590 they were at 
Ipswich. In the spring of 1591 they appear to have made 
a temporary amalgamation with a group of the Queen’s 
men (q.v.) and appeared with them on 14 February at 
Southampton, on 24 March at Coventry, and during 1590-1 
at Gloucester. This arrangement probably terminated in May, 
and on 11 August Sussex’s were alone at Leicester. 1 

They enter the charmed London circle again with a Court 
performance on 2 January 1592. 2 It is possible that they 
had attracted the services of Marlowe, for Kyd in a letter, 
probably to be dated in 1593, speaks of himself as having 
been in the service of a lord for whose players Marlowe was 
writing, and there are some traces of connexion between 
Kyd and the house of Radcliffe. During the plague of 1593 
the company were obliged to travel again, and on 29 April 
the Privy Council Register records the issue of 

4 an open warrant for the plaiers, servantes to the Erie of Sussex, autho- 
rysinge them to exercyse theire qualitie of playinge comedies and 
tragedies in any county, cittie, towne or corporacion not being within 
vij en miles of London, where the infection is not, and in places con- 
venient and tymes fitt.’ 3 

The company were at Ipswich, Newcastle, and York in 
I 59 2 ~"3« They were at Winchester on 7 December 1593; then 
came to London under the patronage of the fifth Earl, and, 
although not at Court, had a season of about six weeks, 
beginning on 26 December and ending on 6 February, with 
Henslowe, probably at the Rose. The names and dates of 
their plays and sums received at each, probably by himself 
as owner of the theatre, are noted by Henslowe in his diary. 
The company performed on thirty nights, in twelve plays. 

1 Murray, i. 307, has additional provincial records for 1585-91. 

2 I do not agree with Fleay, Sh. 18, 184, that Sussex’s were satirized 
in A Midsummer- Night’ $ Dream ; cf. infra, s.v. Hertford's. 

a Dasent, xxiv. 209. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 95 

• 

Henslowe’s receipts averaged £1 13 s., amounting to £ 3 is . 
on the first night and £3 105. on each of the next two, 
and thereafter fluctuating greatly, from a minimum of 
5 s. to a maximum of £3 8s. This last was at the production 
of the one ‘new’ play of the season, Titus Andronicus , on 
24 January. The enterprise was brought to an abrupt 
termination by a renewed alarm of plague, and a consequent 
inhibition of plays by the Privy Council on 3 February. 
Titus Andronicus was played for the third and last time on 
6 February, and on the same day the book was entered for 
copyright purposes in the Stationers’ Register. The edition 
published in the same year professes to give the play as it 
was played by 4 the Earle of Darbie, Earle of Pembrooke, 
and Earle of Sussex their Servants *. I suppose it to have 
passed, probably in a pre-Shakespearian version, from 
Pembroke’s to Sussex’s, when the former were bankrupt in 
the summer of 1593 (cf. infra) y and to have been revised for 
Sussex’s by the hand of Shakespeare. If so, it is a plausible 
conjecture that certain other plays, which were once Pem- 
broke’s and ultimately came to the Chamberlain’s men, also 
passed through the hands of Sussex’s. Such were The Taming 
of A Shrew , The Contention of York and Lancaster , and perhaps 
the Ur-Hamlet , I Henry V /, and Richard III. There is no basis 
for determining whether any of Shakespeare’s work on the York 
tetralogy was done for Sussex’s ; but it is worth noting that 
one of their productions was Buckingham , a title which might 
fit either Richard III or that early version of Henry VI II y 
the existence of which, on internal grounds, I suspect. Of 
Sussex’s other plays in this season, one, George a Greene y 
the Pinner of Wakefield , was published as theirs in 1599 > 
another, Marlowe’s Jew of Malta , probably belonged to 
Henslowe, as it was acted in turn by nearly every company 
which he financed; and of the rest, God Speed the Plough y 
Huon of Bordeaux , Richard the Confessor , William the Conqueror , 
Friar Francis , Abraham and Lot f The Fair Maid of Italy , and 
King Lud y nothing is known, except for the entry of God 
Speed the Plough in 1601 and an edifying tale related about 
1608 by Thomas Heywood in connexion with an undated per- 
formance of Friar Francis by the company at King’s Lynn. 1 

At Easter 1594 Henslowe records another very brief season 
of eight nights between 1 and 9 April, during which the 
Queen’s and Sussex’s men played 4 together ’. This suggests 
to Dr. Greg that the companies appeared on different nights, 
but to me rather that they combined their forces, as they 
seem to have already done at Coventry in 1591. Henslowe’s 
1 Cf. App. C, No. Ivii. 



THE COMPANIES 


<j6 

receipts averaged £i 17 s. The repertory included, besides 
The Fair Maid of Italy and The Jew of Malta i King Leare t 
doubtless to be identified with King Leire and his Three 
Daughters (1605), The Ranger's Comedy , and Friar Bacon and 
Friar Bungay . The latter was published in 1594 as a Queen’s 
play. Both it and The Ranger's Comedy were played at a later 
date by the Admiral’s, and may have belonged to Henslowe. 
Strange’s had played Friar Bacon in 1592-3. 

Thereafter Sussex’s men vanish from the annals ; they may 
have been absorbed in the Queen’s men for travelling purposes. 
Later players under the same name are recorded at Coventry 
in 1602-3, Dover in 1606-7, Canterbury in 1607-8, Bristol, 
Norwich, and Dunwich in 1608-9, Leicester on 31 August 1615, 
and Leominster in 1618, and it may be these to whom Heywood 
alludes as visiting King’s Lynn. If so, their possession of 
Friar Francis suggests some affiliation to the earlier company. 

vi. SIR ROBERT LANE’S MEN 

Robert Lane, of Horton, Northants ; nat. c. 1528 ; Kt. 2 Oct. 1553 ; 
m. (1) Catherine, d. of Sir Roger Copley, (2) Mary, d. of John Heneage. 

I have not come across Sir Robert Lane’s men except 
at Bristol in August 1570, and at Court during the Christmas 
of 1571-2. On 27 December 1571 they played Lady Barbara 
and on 17 February 1572 Cloridon and Radiamanta. The first 
performance was paid for by a warrant of 5 January to Laurence 
Dutton ; the second by a warrant of 26 February, in which, 
according to the entry in the Privy Council Register, Dutton 
was again named. 1 But the Treasurer of the Chamber records 
the payment as made to John Greaves and Thomas Goughe. 
Probably this company is identical with that found next year 
in the service of the Earl of Lincoln. 

vii. THE EARL OF LINCOLN’S (LORD CLINTON’S) MEN 

Edward Fiennes de Clinton ; s. of Thomas, 8th Lord Clinton and 
Saye, nat. 1512 ; m. (1) Elizabeth Lady Talboys, d. of Sir John Blount, 
1534, (2) Ursula, d. of William Lord Stourton, c . 1540, (3) Elizabeth 
Lady Browne, ' the fair Geraldine/ d. of Gerald, 9th Earl of Kildare, 
c. 1552' ; succ. as 9th Baron, 1J517 ; Lord High Admiral, 1550-3, 
and again 13 Feb. 1558 ; 1st Earl of Lincoln, 4 May 1572 ; ambassador 
to France, 1572 ; Lord Steward, 1581-5 ; ob. 16 Jan. 1585. 

Henry Fiennes de Clinton, s. of Edward and Ursula ; nat. c. 1541 ; 
m. (1) Catharine, d. of Francis, 2nd Earl of Huntingdon, Feb. 1557, 


1 Dasent, viii. 71, dating the warrant on 29 Feb. 



97 


THE ADULT COMPANIES 
« 

(2) Elizabeth, d, of Sir Richard Morison and wid. of William Norreys, 
after 1579 ; Kt. 29 Sept, x 553 ; succ. as 2nd Earl, 16 Jan, 1585 ; 
ob . 29 Sept. 1616, 

Players serving the Lord Admiral were at Winchester in 
1566-7. A company under the name of the Earl of Lincoln and 
led by Laurence Dutton played at Court during the Christmas 
of 1572-3, and a company under that of Lord Clinton, and also 
led by Dutton, in Herpetulus the Blue Knight and Perobia 
on 3 January 1574, and on 27 December 1574 and 2 January 
1575- For *574-5 they rehearsed three plays, one of which 
was Pretestus . Probably these are the same company 
transferred by the Lord Admiral to his son* Dutton was with 
Sir Robert Lane’s men in 1571-2 and with the Earl of War- 
wick’s in 1575-6. The whole company may have taken service 
with Lincoln instead of Lane as a result of the statute of 
1572 (App. D, No. xxiv), but it does not seem to have been 
altogether absorbed in Warwick’s, as Lord Clinton’s men are 
found at Southampton on 24 June 1577, when they were six 
in number, at Bristol in July, and at Coventry in 1576-7. 
A later company under the name of the Earl of Lincoln 
has a purely provincial record in 1599—1604. There is an 
isolated notice at Norwich in 1608-9. 

viii. THE EARL OF WARWICK’S MEN 

Ambrose Dudley, 3rd s. of John, 1st Duke of Northumberland ; 
nat . c. 1528 ; m. (1) Anne Whorwood, (2) Elizabeth Talboys, c. 1553, 

(3) Anne, d. of Francis, Earl of Bedford, n Nov. 1565 ; Master of 
Ordnance, 12 Apr. 1560 ; Earl of Warwick, 26 Dec. 1561 ; Chief 
Butler of England, 4 May 1571 ; Privy Councillor, 5 Sept. 1573 ; 
ob. 20 Feb. 1590. 

Dudley seems to have had players in London in January 
1562, when they were rewarded by the Duchess of Suffolk. 1 
They are also found in 1559-64 at Oxford, Gloucester, Bristol, 
Plymouth, Winchester, Dover, Canterbury, and Norwich. 
Their only Court performances upon record were two during 
the Christmas of 1564-5. In 1564-5 they were apparently 
at Canterbury. 2 

After an interval of ten years there are Warwick’s men at 
Court on 14 February 1575 and also at Stratford in the course 
of 1574-5, at Lichfield between 27 July and 3 August during 
the progress, 3 and at Leicester before 29 September 1575. 
At the following Christmas they gave three plays at Court, 

1 Ancaster MSS. {Hist. MSS.) 466. 

2 Hist. MSS. ix. 1. 156. The payment is given as to the Earl of 

* Waffyts ' men. 3 Nichols, Eliz. i. 531. 


2239-9 


H 



THE COMPANIES 


98 

on 26 December 1575 and 1 January and on 5 March 1576. 
John and Laurence Dutton and Jerome Savage were their 
payees. Laurence Dutton and possibly others of the company 
had been, a year before, in Lord Clinton’s service. During 
the next four winters they appeared regularly at Court, and 
are recorded at Leicester in 1576 and Nottingham on 1 Septem- 
ber 1577. On 26 December 1576 they played The Painter's 
Daughter , and on 18 February 1577 The Irish Knight. The 
names of their plays on 28 December 1577 an< 3 6 January 
and 9 February 1578 are not preserved. They were notified 
by the Privy Council to the Lord Mayor as one of the Court 
companies for the Christmas of 1578-9 (App. D, No. xl), 
and played The Three Sisters of Mantua on 26 December and 
The Knight in the Burning Rock on 1 March. A play intended 
for 2 February was not performed, but payment was made 
to Jerome Savage. Gabriel Harvey (cf. p. 4) mentions them 
as a London company in the summer of 1579. On 1 January 
1580 they played The Four Sons of Fabius. A Winchester 
record of ‘Lord Ambrose Dudley’s’ men in 1581-2 must be 
an error. 

The Duttons were evidently a restless folk, and the dis- 
appearance of Warwick’s men and the appearance of Oxford’s 
men in 1580 is to be explained by another transfer of their 
services. This is referred to in the following verses : 1 

The Duttons and they r fellow-players for sakyng the Erie of Warwyche 
theyr mayster , became followers of the Erie of Oxford , and wrot them- 
selves his Comoedians, which certayne Gentlemen altered and made 
Camoelions. The Duttons , angry with that , compared themselves to 
any gentleman ; therefore these armes were devysed for them. 

The fyeld, a fart durty, a gybbet crosse-corded, 

A dauncing Dame Flurty of alle men abhorred ; 

A lyther lad scampant, a roge in his ragges, 

A whore that is rampant, astryde wyth her legges, 

A woodcocke displayed, a calfe and a sheepe, 

A bitch that is splayed, a dormouse asleepe ; 

A vyper in stynche, la part de la drut , 

Spell backwarde this Frenche and cracke me that nut. 

Parcy per pillery, perced with a rope, 

To sly the the more lytherly anoynted with sope ; 

A coxcombe crospate in token of witte, 

Two eares perforate, a nose wythe slytte. 

Three nettles resplendent, three owles, three swallowes, 

Three mynstrellmen pendent on three payre of gallowes, 

1 Wright and Halliwell, Reliquiae Antiquae, ii. 122, from Harl. MS. 
7392, f. 97 i c *- M - L • R - ii- 5 - 



99 


THE ADULT COMPANIES 

Further sufficiently placed in them 
A knaves head, for a difference from alle honest men. 

The wreathe is a chayne of chaungeable red, 

To shew they ar vayne and fickle of head ; 

The creste is a lastrylle whose feathers ar blew, 

In signe that these fydlers will never be trew ; 

Whereon is placed the home of a gote, 

Because they ar chast, to this is theyr lotte, 

For their bravery, indented and parted, 

And for their knavery innebulated. 

Mantled lowsy, wythe doubled drynke, 

Their ancient house is called the Clynke ; 

Thys Posy they beare over the whole earthe, 

Wylt please you to have a fyt of our mirthe ? 

But reason it is, and heraultes allowe welle, 

That fidlers should beare their armes in a towelle. 

In 1587-8 tumblers were at Bath under Warwick’s name. 
I do not understand the entry of his men in the Ipswich 
accounts, as playing on 10 March 1592. Ambrose Dudley 
died in 1590, and his doubtfully legitimate nephew, Sir Robert 
Dudley, does not seem even to have claimed the title until 
1597. The Ipswich records are unreliable, but possibly Lady 
Warwick maintained a company for a while. The Corporation 
of London were considering some 4 cause * of hers as to plays 
in May 1594 (App. D, No. xcviii). 

ix. THE EARL OF OXFORD’S MEN 

John de Vere, s. of John, 15th Earl of Oxford ; nat. c. 1512 ; succ. 
as 1 6th Earl and Lord Great Chamberlain, 21 Mar. 1540 ; m. Margaret 
Golding, 1547 ; ob. 3 Aug. 1562. 

Edward de Vere, s. of John, 16th Earl of Oxford ; nat. 2 Apr. 1550 ; 
succ. as 17th Earl and Lord Great Chamberlain, 3 Aug. 1562 ; m. (1) 
Anne, d. of William Lord Burghley, Dec. 1571, (2) Elizabeth Trentham, 
c. 1591 ; ob. 24 June 1604. Of his daughters by (1), Elizabeth m. 
William Stanley, 6th Earl of Derby, 26 Jan. 1595 ; Bridget m. Francis, 
Lord Norris ; Susan m. Sir Philip Herbert, afterwards Earl of Mont- 
gomery, 27 Dec. 1604. 

The Earls of Oxford had their players as far back as 1492. 1 
A company belonging to the 16th Earl caused a scandal by 
playing in Southwark at the moment when a dirge was 
being sung for Henry VIII in St. Saviour’s on 6 February 
1547. 2 It is probably the same company which is traceable 
in 1555-6 at Dover, in 1557-8 at Ipswich, in 1559-60 and 

1 Mediaeval Stage , ii. 222. 2 Cf. ch. viii. 


H 2 



100 


THE COMPANIES 


1560-1 at Maldon, and in 1561-2 at Barnstaple, Maldon, and 
Ipswich. Murray (ii f 63) adds a few notices. There is no 
sign of it at Court, and it is likely that the 17th Earl discon- 
tinued it soon after his succession. The last notices of it are 
at Leicester, Plymouth, and Ipswich in 1562-3. 

At a later date, however, this Earl was clearly interested 
in things dramatic. He took part in a Shrovetide device at 
Court in 1579, and is recorded in Francis Meres’s Palladis 
Tamia (1598) to have been himself a playwright and one of 
‘ the best for comedy amongst us ’ (App. C, No. lii). In 1580 
the Duttons and the rest of the Earl of Warwick’s men trans- 
ferred themselves to his service, and thereby laid themselves 
open to satire upon their fickleness (cf. supra). I do not 
know whether it was their resentment at this that brought 
them into trouble, but on 12 April 1580 the Lord Mayor 
wrote to Sir Thomas Bromley, the Lord Chancellor, about 
a disorder at the Theatre two days before, which he under- 
stood to be already before the Privy Council ; and on 13 April 
we find the Council committing Robert Leveson and Laurence 
Dutton, servants of the Earl of Oxford, to the Marshalsea 
for a fray with the Inns of Court. On 26 May the matter 
was referred to three judges for examination, and on 18 July 
Thomas Chesson, sometime servant to the Earl, was released 
on bail (App. D, Nos. xliii, xliv). These notices suggest that 
the company had arranged, possibly during the absence of 
Leicester’s men from town, to occupy the Theatre. In view 
of their disgrace, it was no doubt better for them to travel, 
and on 21 June John Hatcher, Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge, 
wrote to Lord Oxford’s father-in-law, Lord Burghley, to 
acknowledge recommendations received from him, as well as 
from the Lord Chancellor and Lord Chamberlain Sussex, 
that Oxford’s men should be allowed to 4 show their cunning 
in several plays already practised by them before the Queen’s 
majesty ’, and to explain that, in view of pestilence, the need 
for industry at commencement, a previous refusal to Leicester’s 
men, and a Privy Council order of 1575 against assemblies 
in Cambridge, he had thought it better to give them 20 s. f and 
send them away unheard. 1 They are traceable provincially 
in 1580-3. 2 At Norwich (1580-1) the payment was made 
to 4 the Earle of Oxenfordes lads ’, and at Bristol (Sept. 
1581) there were nine boys and a man. These were probably 

1 Ellis, i. 3, 32 ; Cooper, ii. 379 ; from S. P. D . Eliz. cxxxix. 26. The 
Privy Council letter of 30 Oct. 1575 (M. 5 . C. i. 195) forbids 4 open shewes * 
and 4 assemblies in open places of multitudes of people ’ within five miles 
of Cambridge. 

* Murray, i. 348. I add Maldon (1581). 



IOI 


THE ADULT COMPANIES 

3 

boys of the Earl’s domestic chapel, travelling either with the 
Duttons or as a separate company. 

The Duttons joined the Queen’s company, John on its first 
establishment in 1583. It is in the following winter, however, 
that an Oxford’s company first appears at Court. Here the 
Earl’s * servauntes ’ performed on 1 January and 3 March 
1584. Their payee was John Lyly, who had probably been 
for some years in the Earl’s service. Provincial performances 
continue during 1583-5, and in the records the company are 
always described as * players ’ or ‘ men \ 1 On 27 December 
1584 Agamemnon and Ulysses was played at Court by the 
Earl of Oxford’s 1 boyes ’. For this the payee was Henry 
Evans, probably the same who in 1600 set up the Chapel 
plays. I do not feel much doubt that the companies under 
Lyly and Evans were the same, or that in 1583-4 they in 
fact consisted of a combination of Oxford’s boys, Paul’s and 
the Chapel, working under Lyly and Evans at the Blackfriars 
theatre. 2 This arrangement had, no doubt, to be modified 
when Sir William More recovered possession of the premises 
in the spring of 1584, and after the performance of December 
1584 Oxford perhaps ceased to maintain boy players and 
contented himself with another company of his servants, 
who made an appearance at Court on 1 January 1585, under 
John Symons, in feats of activity and vaulting. These 
tumblers had apparently been Lord Strange’s men in 1583, 
and by 1586 had returned into the service of the Stanley 
family. 

An Oxford’s company did not again perform at Court, but 
his ‘ plaiers ’ were at Norwich in 1585-6, and Ipswich in 
1586-7, 3 and players under his name were notified to Wal- 
singham amongst others setting up their bills in London 
on 25 January 1587 (App. D, No. lxxviii). They were at 
York in June 1587 and Maidstone in 1589-90. Finally, at 
the end of the reign, comes a letter from the Privy Council 
to the Lord Mayor on 31 March 1602, which informs him 
that at the Earl’s suit the Queen has tolerated a new company 
formed by a combination of his servants and those of the 
Earl of Worcester, and that they are to play at the Boar’s 
Head (App. D, No. cxxx). Oxford’s men had probably then 

1 Murray, 1. 348, I add Stratford (1583-4). Dr. Boas kindly informs 

me that the Oxford City Accounts for 1 584-5 have a payment to Oxford's 
‘ musytions \ 

3 Cf. ch. xii (Chapel). 

3 The payment was made to Richard Woderam, but he is more 
likely to have been an agent of the Corporation than a member of the 
company. 



102 


THE COMPANIES 


been established for some little time, as they are indicated 
as having played The Weakest Goeth to the Wall (1600, S. R. 
23 October 1600) by the title-page, and The History of George 
Scanderbarge by the entry in the Stationers’ Register (3 July 
1601). Meres’s reference to Oxford in 1598 suggests that they 
may have been in existence still earlier, as it is natural to 
suppose that he wrote comedies for his own men. Some of 
the writers, however, with whom Meres groups him belong 
to the early years of the reign, although others are contem- 
porary. From 1602 the company was no doubt merged in 
Worcester’s, which in its turn became Queen Anne’s. 

x. THE EARL OF ESSEX’S MEN 

Walter Devereux, s. of Sir Richard Devereux and g.s. of Walter, 
Lord Bourchier and 1st Viscount Hereford ; nat. 1541 ; succ. as 2nd 
Viscount Hereford, 1558 ; m. Lettice, d. of Sir Francis Knollys, c. 1561 ; 
1st Earl of Essex, 4 May 1572 ; ob. 22 Sept. 1576. 

Lettice, Countess of Essex, b. c. 1541 ; m. (2) Robert, Earl of 
Leicester, 21 Sept. 1578, (3) Sir Christopher Blount, July 1589 ; 
ob. 25 Dec. 1634. 

Robert Devereux, s. of 1st Earl of Essex ; b. 19 Nov. 1566 ; succ. 
as 2nd Earl, 1576 ; m. Frances, Lady Sidney, d. of Sir Francis Walsing- 
ham, 1590 ; Master of the Horse, 23 Dec. 1587 ; Earl Marshal, 28 Dec. 
1597 ; Chancellor of Cambridge University, 10 Aug. 1598 ; rebelled, 
8 Feb. 1601 ; executed, 25 Feb. 1601. 

The Bourchiers, Earls of Essex, whom the Devereux 
succeeded through an heiress, had their players well back 
into the fifteenth century. In fact, the earliest household 
troop on record is that of Henry Bourchier, first earl of the 
senior creation, which is found at Maldon in 1468-9 and at 
Stoke-by-Nayland on 9 January 1482. 1 

Walter Devereux had a company, which visited Bath, 
Bristol, Gloucester, and Nottingham in 1572-3, Wollaton 
(Francis Willoughby’s) in July 1574, Coventry on 29 August, 
and Leicester before 29 September 1574, Gloucester, Dover, 
and Coventry in 1574-5, Coventry and Leicester in 1575-6, 
Nottingham in September 1576, and Bristol in September 
15 77. On the Earl’s death the Countess retained the company, 
and under her name it appeared at Coventry and Oxford in 
*576-7. On 11 February 1578 it gave its only performance 
at Court, taking the place of Leicester’s men, to whom 
that day had originally been assigned. It was included in the 
list of Court companies sent to the Lord Mayor in December 

1 Mediaeval Stage , ii. 18 6, 256. The 1469 entry has been since published 
by A. Clark in 10 N. Q. vii. 18 1, ‘ Et solut. lusoribus domini comitis Essex 
ludentibus coram burgensibus infra burgum hoc anno, vs.’ 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 


103 


1578 (App. D, No. xl), but gave no play that winter. The 
Privy Council described it as the Earl of Essex’s men, and it 
played under that name at Coventry in 1577-8 and at Ipswich 
in 1579-80 ; but at Oxford, Coventry, and Stratford-on-Avon 
in 1578-9, and at Oxford in 1579-80, it is still called the 
Countess of Essex’s. It could hardly have borne that name 
after August 1579, when the Countess’s secret marriage with 
Leicester was revealed to Elizabeth, and doubtless her 
disgrace debarred it from any further Court favour. 

Robert Earl of Essex had a provincial company from 1581 
to 1596. In 1581-2 it was at Exeter, in July 1584 at Ludlow, 
in 1583-4 at Leicester, Stratford-on-Avon, and Ipswich, and 
in 1584-5 at Bath. On 26 June 1585 it played at Thorpe in 
Norwich, in spite of a prohibition by the Corporation, and 
was sentenced to be excluded from civic reward in future. 
In 1585-6 it was at Coventry and Ipswich, in 1586 before 
29 September at Leicester, and possibly about May at 
Oxford, on 27 February 1587 at York, on 16 July at Leicester, 
and in the course of the year at Stratford-on-Avon. In 
1587-8 it was at Coventry, Ipswich, Saffron Walden, and 
Leicester, in 1588-9 at Bath, Saffron Walden, and Reading, 
on 7 September 1589 at Knowsley, on 31 October at Ipswich, 
and in the same year at Faversham. It was also at Coventry 
and Faversham in 1589-90, at Maldon in 1590, and twice at 
Faversham in 1590-1, and is last recorded at Ludlow in 
April 1596. Murray adds some intermediate dates. A company 
of Essex’s men which appeared at Coventry in 1600-1 is 
probably distinct. The execution of Essex on 25 February 
1601 must have brought it to a premature end. 

xi. LORD VAUX’S MEN 

William Vaux, 3rd Lord Vaux; nat. c. 1542 ; m. (1) Elizabeth 
Beaumont, (2) Mary Tresham ; ob. 20 Aug. 1595. 

Edward Vaux, 4th Lord Vaux; nat. 1588; ob. 1661. 

These companies are extremely obscure. Gabriel Harvey 
mentions the first in 1579 (cf. P- 4 ) 1 the second was at 
Leicester in October-Dccember 1601, Coventry in 1603-4 and 
1608, and Skipton in 1609. 

xii. LORD BERKELEY’S MEN 

Henry FitzHardinge Berkeley, Baron Berkeley ; succ. 1553 ; m. 
Catherine, d. of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey ; ob. 1613 ; father of 
Thomas Berkeley, nat. 11 July 1575 ; m. Elizabeth, d. of Sir G. 
Carey, afterwards 2nd Baron Hunsdon, 19 Feb. 1596 ; ob. 22 Nov. 1611. 

The only London record of this company is in July 1581, 
when some of them, including Arthur King and Thomas 



104 


THE COMPANIES 


Goodale, were committed to the Counter after a brawl with 
Inns of Court men. Lord Berkeley apologized to the Lord 
Mayor on their behalf, and said that they would go to the 
country (App. D, Nos. xlix, 1). Their other appearances are 
all in the country, at Bristol between 6 and 12 July 1578, 
where they played What Mischief Worketh in the Mind of 
Man f at Bath on 11 July 1578 and on another day in 1578-9, 
at Abingdon in 1579-80, Stratford-on-Avon in 1580-1, 
Maldon in 1581, Stratford-on-Avon in 1582-3, Barnstaple 
in 1583-4, and Bath in 1586-7. Long after they, or a later 
company under the same name, reappear at Coventry in 
1597-8, at Leicester in 1598 before Michaelmas, at Saffron 
Walden in 1598-9, and at Coventry and elsewhere in 1603-10. 
Lord Berkeley’s name is sometimes misspelt in the account- 
books as 4 Bartlett \ 1 

xiii. QUEEN ELIZABETH'S MEN 

The origin of this company, the most famous of all the 
London companies during the decade of the ’eighties, can be 
dated with an extreme minuteness. 2 The Revels Accounts for 
1582-3 record an expenditure of 20s. in travelling charges by 

4 Edmond Tylney Esquire Master of the office being sente for to the 
Courte by Letter from M r . Secreatary dated the x th of Marche 1582. 
To choose out a companie of players for her maiestie.’ 3 

The date then was 10 March 1583, and the business was in 
the h^nds of Sir Francis Walsingham. Lord Chamberlain 
Sussex, to whom it would naturally have fallen, was ill in 
the previous September 4 and died on the following 9 June. 
Walsingham’s agency in the matter is confirmed in the account 
of the formation of the company inserted by Edmund Howes 
in the 1615 and 1631 editions of Stowe’s Annates : 

* Comedians and stage-players of former time were very poor and 
ignorant in respect of these of this time : but being now grown very 
skilful and exquisite actors for all matters, they were entertained into 
the service of divers great lords : out of which companies theTe were 
twelve of the best chosen, and, at the request of Sir Francis Walsing- 
ham, they were sworn the queens servants and were allowed wages 
and liveries as grooms of the chamber : and until this yeare 1583, 

1 Variorum, ii. 1 50. The ' lord Cartleyes players ’ recorded by B. S. 
Penley, The Bath Stage , 12, in 1580-1, 1582-3, and 1583-4 were perhaps 
Lord Berkeley's. Murray, ii. 27, adds other provincial notices. 

2 This did not prevent Chalmers from giving the date 1581 and being 
set right by Malone (Variorum, iii. 442). Collier, i. 247, gives 1583, but 
misdates Tilney’s commission of 1581, and takes it for the instrument 
constituting the company. 

8 Feuillerat, Eliz. 359. 


4 Nicolas, Hatton, 271. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 


105 


the queene had no players. Among these twelve players were two 
rare men, viz. Thomas Wilson, for a quicke, delicate, refined, extem- 
porall witt, and Richard Tarleton, for a wondrous plentifull pleasant 
cxtemporall wit, he was the wonder of his time. He lieth buried in 
Shoreditch church. [In a note] He was so beloved that men use his 
picture for their signs.’ 1 * 

Howes is not altogether accurate. ‘ Thomas ’ is obviously 
a mistake for * Robert * Wilson. Elizabeth had maintained 
players before, the Interludes, although they had cut little 
figure in the dramatic history of the reign, and the last of 
them had died in 1580. Dr. Greg thinks that the players 
were not appointed as grooms of the Chamber, on the ground 
that their names do not appear in a list of these officers 
appended to a warrant of 8 November 1586. 2 But Tarlton 
is described as ‘ ordenary grome off her majestes chamber ’ 
in the record of his graduation as a master of fence in 1587, 
and both he and his 4 fellow *, William Johnson, are described 
as ‘ grooms of her majesties chamber ’ in his will of 1588. 
Their absence from Dr. Greg’s list is probably due to their 
treatment as a special class of grooms of the chamber in 
ordinary without fee, who were not called upon to perform 
the ordinary duties of the office, such as helping to watch 
the palace. 3 That they had liveries, which were red coats, 
is borne out by the particular mention of the fact that they 
were not wearing them, in the depositions concerning a very 
untoward event which took place in the first few months 
of their service. On the afternoon of 15 June 1583 they were 
playing at the Red Lion in Norwich. A dispute as to payment 
arose between a servant of one Mr. Wynsdon and Singer, 
who, in a black doublet and with a player’s beard on, was 
acting as gatekeeper. Tarlton and Bentley, who was playing 
the duke, came off the stage, and Bentley broke the offender’s 
head with the hilt of his sword. The man fled, pursued by 
Singer with an arming-sword which he took off the stage, 
and by Henry Browne, a servant of Sir William Paston. Both 
of them struck him, and one of the blows, but it was not 
certain whose, proved mortal. 4 

Several other places, besides Norwich, received a visit 
from the Queen’s men during the first summer of their 
existence. In April they were at Bristol, on 9 July at Cam- 
bridge, and between 24 July and 29 September at Leicester. 

1 Stowe, Annales (1615), 697, (1631), 698. 

-TTregrT TefrstVW^'ii. 79, citing Addl. MS. 5750, f. 113. 

J Cf. ch. x. 

4 Halliwell, A ffray at Norwich in 1583 in which Queen Elizabeth's Players 
were involved (1864), and in Illustrations of the Life of Shakespeare , 118. 



xo6 THE COMPANIES 

c 

Their travels also extended to Gloucester, Aldeburgh, Not- 
tingham, and Shrewsbury, 1 In the winter they returned 
to London, and on 26 November the Privy Council wrote to 
the Lord Mayor to bespeak for them permission to play in the 
City and the liberties upon week-days until Shrovetide. 
The City accordingly licensed them to play at the Bull and the 
Bell, but with unwelcome limitations, for on 1 December it 
was necessary for Walsingham to write a personal letter, 
explaining that it was not the intention of the Council that 
the licence to play should be confined to holidays. The City 
record gives the names of the twelve members of the company 
as Robert Wilson, John Dutton, Richard Tarlton, John 
Laneham, John Bentley, Thobye Mylles, John Towne, John 
Synger, Leonall Cooke, John Garland, John Adams, and 
William Johnson. The company made its initial appearance 
at Court on 26 December, and played again on 29 December, 
and on 3 March 1584. Their public performances probably 
continued through the spring, but in June there were disturb- 
ances in and around the Middlesex theatres, and the City 
obtained leave from the Council to suppress plays. The 
Queen’s submitted to an injunction from William Fleetwood, 
the Recorder ; and their leader advised him to send for the 
owner of the Theatre, who was Lord Hunsdon’s man, and 
bind him. They travelled again, and are found in 1583-4 at 
Bath and Marlborough, and in October or November at Dover. 
When the winter came on, they once more approached the 
Council and requested a renewal of the previous year’s 
privilege, submitting articles in which they pointed out that 
the time of their service was drawing near, and that the season 
of the year was past to play at any of the houses outside the 
City. They also asked for favourable letters to the Middlesex 
justices. The City opposed the concession, and begged that, 
if it were granted, the number and names of the Queen’s 
men might be set out in the warrant, complaining that in the 
previous year, when toleration was granted to this company 
alone, all the playing-places were filled with men calling 
themselves the Queen’s players. The records do not show 
whether the Council assented. 2 The company appeared four 
times at Court, giving Phillyda and Corin on 26 December, 
Felix and Philiomena on 3 January 1585, Five Plays in One 
on 6 January, and an antic play and a comedy on 23 February. 
They had prepared a fifth performance, of Three Plays in 
One } for 21 February, but it was not called for. Mr. Fleay 
has conjectured that the Five Plays in One and the Three 

1 Murray, i. 20, and A. Clark in 10 N. Q. xii. 41 (Saffron Walden) give 
other provincial records throughout. An Ipswich one for 1581-2 must be 
misplaced. 2 Cf. App. D, !No. lxxv. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 107 

Plays in One may have been the two parts of Tarlton’s 
Seven Deadly Sins A The payment for this winter’s plays was 
made to Robert Wilson. 

There is no evidence that the company were travelling 
in 1585. They were at Court again on 26 December and 
on 1 January and 13 February 1586. During 1586 they 
were at Maidstone, in July at Bristol, on 22 August and later 
at Faversham, and before 29 September at Leicester. In 
1585-6 they were also at Coventry. On 26 December 1586 
and on 1 and 6 January and 28 February 1587 they were at 
Court, and in the same January a correspondent of Walsing- 
ham’s names them amongst other companies then playing 
regularly in the City (App. D, No. lxxviii). During 1586-7 they 
were at Bath, Worcester, Canterbury, and Stratford-on-Avon, 
whence Malone thought that they might have enlisted 
Shakespeare. 2 They were at Bath again on 13 July 1587, 
and at Aldeburgh on 20 May and 19 July. Before 29 Septem- 
ber they were at Leicester, on 9 September at York, where it 
is recorded that they ‘ cam in her Majesties lyvereys ’, twice 
in September at Coventry, and at Aldeburgh on 16 December. 
They were at Court on 26 December 1587 and on 6 January 
and 18 February 1588. 

A subsidy list of 30 June 1588 shows that Tarlton, Lane- 
ham, Johnson, Towne, Adams, Garland, John Dutton, 
Singer, and Cooke were then still household players. 3 It 
can, perhaps, hardly be assumed that the whole of the 
company is here represented. Mills, Wilson, and Bentley 
may have dropped out since 1583. But one would have 
expected to find the name of Laurence Dutton beside that 
of John, as he was certainly a Queen’s man by 1589. Knell 
also acted with Tarlton in The Famous Victories of Henry 
the Fifth , and must have belonged to the company. He also 
may have been dead by 1588. And this must certainly be 
the case if he is the William Knell whose widow Rebecca 
John Heminges married on 10 March 1588. There is some 
reason to suppose that Heminges himself joined the Queen’s 
men, perhaps in right of his wife. The composition of the 
list of 1583 generally bears out the statement of Howes, that 
the Queen’s men were selected as the best out of the com- 
panies of divers great lords, for Wilson, Laneham, and 
Johnson belonged to Leicester’s in 1572, Adams to Sussex’s 
in 1576, and Dutton, after a chameleon past, to Oxford’s in 
1580. Mr. Fleay, who did not know either the list of 1583 
or that of 1588, declares that the original members of the 

1 Fleay, 83. 2 Variorum , ii. 166. 

3 M. S. C. i. 354, from P. R . O. Lay Subsidies, Household, 69/97. 



108 THE COMPANIES 

* 

company included James Burbadge and William Slaughter, 
and probably John Perkyn. 1 Of these William Slaughter 
is merely what the philologists would call a * ghost ’-name, 
for there is no evidence that any such actor ever existed. 2 * 
Evidently James Burbadge did not join the Queen’s men. 
Probably Mr. Fleay was biased by his knowledge that these 
men acted at the Theatre, which was Burbadge’s property. 
But this could prove nothing, as the relations between 
particular companies and particular theatres were much less 
permanent than Mr. Fleay is apt to suppose. The Queen’s 
seem to have been acting at the Theatre when Fleetwood 
suppressed them in June 1584, but the owner of the house, 
who can hardly be any other than James Burbadge, is specifi- 
cally described as Lord Hunsdon’s man, which of course 
does not necessarily signify that he was a player at all. 
Moreover, it is clear from the official correspondence of the 
following autumn, not only that, as we know from other 
sources, the companies regularly moved in from the suburban 
houses to the City inn-yards at the approach of winter, but 
also that the Queen’s in particular had in the winter of 1583 
dispersed themselves for their public performances over 
various play-places. The view that they did not exclusively 

1 Fleay, 34. 

2 The illustration of Mr. Fleay’s methods of constructing stage history 
is delightful. In The True Tragedie of Richard the Third , a Queen’s play, 

the murderers of the princes in the Tower are Will Slawter or Sluter, 

4 yet the most part calles him blacke Will ’ (Hazlitt, Sh. L. v. 95), and 
Jack Denten or Douton. On this Mr. Fleay (ii. 316) comments, 4 One 
of the actors in it. Sc. 11, is called Will Slaughter, “ yet the most part 
calls him Black Will", i.e. the Black Will of Arden of F aver sham, q.v., 
which had no doubt been acted by the same man. Another actor is 
called Jack Donton (Dutton) or Denten, an accommodation of the Dighton 
of history to the actor’s real name.' Obviously there is no need to suppose 
that the characters in The True Tragedie bore the names of their actors. 
John Dutton is not very likely to have taken a part of four speeches, 
and Will Slawter is evidently added to the John Dighton of Holinshed, 
to give Edward V the 4 irony ’ of a pun upon 4 slaughter ’. As for Arden 
of Faversham, it is not known to have been a Queen’s play at all, and 
its 4 Black Will ' is taken from Holinshed. Having gone so far, I do not 
know why Mr. Fleay stopped short of identifying Black Will's colleague 
‘ Shakebag ‘ with the name of an actor. Of course, Mr. Fleay’s blundering 
conjectures must be distinguished from the deliberate fabrications of 
Collier, who published in his New Facts, 11, from a forged document 
amongst the Bridgewater MSS., a certificate to the Privy Council under 
the date 4 Nov. 1589*, from 4 her Ma t8 poore playeres James Burbidge 
Richard Burbidge John Laneham Thomas Greene Robert Wilson John 
Taylor Anth. Wadeson Thomas Pope George Peele Augustine Phillippes 
Nicholas Towley William Shakespeare William Kempe William Johnson 
Baptiste Goodale and Robert Armyn being all of them sharers in the 
blacke Fryers playehouse ’. On this cf. ch. xvii, and Ingleby, 249. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 


109 


attach themselves to Burbadge’s, or to any other one theatre, 
is further borne out by the indications in the Jests of Tarlton, 
which there is no reason to reject, however apocryphal they 
may be in detail, as evidence of the theatrical conditions 
under which the famous mime appeared. The Jests frequently 
speak of Tarlton as a Queen’s man and never mention any 
other company in connexion with him. 1 And, as it happens, 
they record performances at the Curtain, 2 the Bell, 3 and the 
Bull, 4 but none at the Theatre. Nashe, however, tells us that 
Tarlton made jests of Richard Harvey and his Astrological 
Discourse of 1583 there ; 5 and an entry in the Stationers’ 
Register makes it possible to add that shortly before his 
death he appeared at the Bel Savage. 6 The stage-keeper in 
Bartholomew Fair (1614), Ind. 37, gives us a reminiscence 
of a scene between Tarlton and John Adams, 4 I am an Asse ! 

I ! and yet I kept the Stage in Master Tarletons time, I thanke 
my starres. Ho ! and that man had liu’d to haue play’d 
in Bartholmew Fayre , you should ha’ seene him ha* come in, 
and ha’ beene coozened i* the Cloath- quarter, so finely ! 
And Adams , the Rogue, ha’ leap’d and caper’d vpon him, 
and ha’ dealt his vermine about, as though they had cost 
him nothing. And then a substantiall watch to ha’ stolne 
in vpon ’hem, and taken ’hem away, with mistaking words, 
as the fashion is, in the Stage-practice.’ 

Tarlton’s own talent probably ran more to 4 jigs ’ and 
4 themes ’ than to the legitimate drama. But the palmy days 
of the Queen’s company were those that intervened between 
its foundation in 1583 and his death on 3 September 1588. 
To it belonged the men whom such an actor of the next 
generation as Thomas Heywood could remember as the 

1 Tarlton, 12, 13, 27, 29, 30, 31, 33, 37, ‘ while the queenes players 
lay in Worcester 4 when the queenes players were restrained in summer, 
they travelled downe to S. James his fair at Bristow ’, ‘ in the country 
where the queenes plaiers were accepted into a gentlemans house \ 4 at 
Salisbury, Tarlton and his fellowes were to play before the maior and his 
brethren \ ‘ the queenes players travelling into the west country to play, 
and lodging in a little village some ten miles from Bristow \ 

2 Tarlton, 16, 4 one in mockage threw him in this theame, he playing 
then at the Curtaine ’. 

3 Tarlton, 24, ‘ Tarlton then, with his fellowes, playing at the Bel by 
. . . the Crosse-keyes in Gracious streete 

4 Tarlton, 13, ‘at the Bull in Bishops-gate-street, where the queenes 
players oftentimes played ’. It was here (Tarlton, 24) that Tarlton and 
Knell played The Famous Victories of Henry the Fifth. 

5 Nashe, Pierce Penilesse (Works, i. 197 ; cf. i. 308). 

6 Arber, ii. 526, 4 A sorowfull newe sonnette intituled Tarltons Recanta- 
con uppon this theame gyven him by a gentleman at the Bel savage 
without Ludgate (nowe or ells never) beinge the laste theame he songe'. 
The tract is not extant. 



no 


THE COMPANIES 


giants of the past, 1 and whose reputation Edward Alleyn’s 
friends were ready to back him to excel. 2 From 1588 the 
future of the stage lay with Alleyn and the Admiral’s men 
and Marlowe, and it may reasonably be supposed that the 
Queen’s men were hard put to it to hold their own against 
their younger rivals. Adams probably survived Tarlton, 
and his name appears to be traceable as that of the clowns 
in A Looking Glass for London and England ( c . 1590) and 
James IV (c. 1591). In 1587-8 the Queen’s visited Coventry 
and Exeter, and in 1588 Dover, and on two occasions 
Faversham. On 19 July and 14 August they were at Bath. 
The Bath accounts for this year also show a payment 4 to the 
quenes men that were tumblers ’. Owing to Tarlton’s death 
or to some other reason, the Queen’s men prolonged their 
travels far into the winter. On 31 October they were at the 
Earl of Derby’s house at New Park, Lancashire ; on 6 Novem- 
ber 4 certen of ’ them were at Leicester; on 10 December they 
were at Norwich and on 17 December at Ipswich. But they 
reached the Court in time for the performance on 26 December, 
with which they seem to have had the prerogative of opening 
the Christmas season, and appeared again on 9 February. They 
must have had some share in the Martin Marprelate contro- 
versy, which raged during 1589. In the previous year, 
indeed, Martin was able to claim Tarlton as an ally who 
had 4 taken ’ Simony 4 in Don John of London’s cellar ’, 
and was himself accused of borrowing his 4 foolery ’ from 
Laneham. But when the bishops determined to meet the 
Puritans with literary weapons like their own, they naturally 
turned to the Queen’s men amongst others. About April 
1589 A Whip for an Ape bids Martin’s grave opponents to 
4 let old Lanam lash him with his rimes ’, and although it 
cannot be assumed that, if the May- game of Mar tinism was 
in fact played at the Theatre, it was the Queen’s men who 
played it, Martin's Month's Minde records in August the 
chafing of the Puritans at players 4 whom, saving their liveries 
(for indeed they are hir Majesty’s men . . .) they call rogues \ 
Influence was brought to bear to suppress the anti-Martinist 
plays. A pamphlet of October notes that Vetus Comoedia 
has been 4 long in the country ’ ; and this accords with the 
fact that the provincial performances of the Queen’s men 
began at an unusually early date in 1589. They are found 
at Gloucester on 19 April, at Leicester on 20 May, at Ipswich 
on 27 May, at Aldeburgh on 30 May, and at Norwich on 

1 App. C, No. lvii. He names Knell, Bentley, Mills, Wilson, and 
Laneham. 

2 Cf. ch. xv, s.v. Alleyn, and ch. xviii. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 


hi 


3 June. On 5 July they were at the Earl of Derby’s at 
Lathom, and on 6 and 7 September at another house of the 
Earl’s at Knowsley. On 22 September Lord Scrope wrote 
from Carlisle to William Asheby, the English ambassador in 
Scotland, that they had been for ten days in that town. He 
had heard from Roger Asheton of the King’s desire that they 
should visit Scotland, and had sought them out from 4 the 
furthest parte of Langkeshire ’A One would be glad to know 
whether they did in fact visit Scotland. In any case they were 
back in England and at Bath by November. During 1588-9 
they were also at Reading, at Nottingham, and twice at 
Coventry. Both the Nottingham records and those of 
Leicester furnish evidence that for travelling purposes they 
divided themselves into two companies. At Leicester the 
town account for 1588-9 shows 4 certen of her Maiests playars ’ 
as coming on 6 November, and 1 others moe of her Mayestyes 
playars ’ as coming on 20 May ; that of Nottingham for the 
same year has an entry of 4 Symons and his companie, being 
the Quenes players ’ and another of 4 the Quenes players, 
the two Duttons and others *. The arrangement was of course 
natural enough, seeing that even in London the Queen’s 
men were sufficiently numerous to occupy more than one 
inn-yard. Laurence Dutton was evidently by now a member 
of the company with his brother John. It is to be presumed 
that Symons is the John Symons who on not less than five 
occasions presented 4 activities * at Court, in 1582-3 with 
Strange’s (q.v.), in 1585 with Oxford’s, in 1586 with 

4 Mr. Standleyes boyes in 1587-8 with a company under 
his own name, and in 1588-9 either with the Admiral’s or 
possibly with the Queen’s itself. 

Doubtless the incorporation of Symons into the Queen’s 
service explains the appearance of the Queen’s tumblers at 
Bath in 1589. Performances at Court, for which John Dutton 
and John Laneham received payment, took place on 26 Decem- 
ber 1589 and 1 March 1590. During 1589-90 the company 
were at Coventry, Ludlow, Nottingham, Bridgnorth, and 
Faversham, on 22 April 1590 at Norwich, on 24 June under 
the leadership of 4 Mr. Dutton ’ at Knowsley, and on 
30 October at Leicester. Acrobatic feats still formed a part 
of their repertory, and in these they had the assistance of 
a Turkish rope-dancer. 2 There were further Court perform- 
ances on 26 December and on 1, 3, and 6 January, and 
14 February 1591. It is to be noted that payment was made 
for the play of 1 January to 4 John Laneham and his companye 
her maiesties players ’ and for the rest by a separate warrant 

1 E. J. L. Scott in Athenaeum for 21 Jan. 1882. 2 Cf. ch. xviii. 



112 


THE COMPANIES 


to 4 Lawrence Dutton and John Dutton her maiesties players 
and there companye * ; and that this distinction indicates 
some further development of the tendency to bifurcation 
already observed may be gathered from a study of the 
provincial records for 1590-1. On the very day of the 
performance of 14 February Queen’s men were also at 
Southampton, and the form of the entry indicates that they 
were there playing in conjunction with the Earl of Sussex’s 
men. This was the case also at Coventry on 24 March and 
at Gloucester during 15 90-1. 1 At Ipswich during the same 
year there are two entries, of * the Quenes players * on 
15 May 1591 and of ‘ another company of the Quenes players ' 
on 18 May. Obviously two groups were travelling this year 
and one had strengthened itself by a temporary amalgamation 
with Sussex’s. Perhaps the normal combination was restored 
when the two groups found themselves on the same road at 
the end of May, for Queen’s men are recorded alone at 
Faversham on 2 June 1591, at Wirkburn on 18 August, and 
at Coventry on 24 August and 20 October. 

It was probably during this summer that Greene, having 
sold Orlando Furioso to the Queen’s men for twenty nobles, 
resold it ‘ when they were in the country ’ to the Admiral’s 
for as much more. The winter of 1591-2 marks a clear 
falling-off in the position of the company at Court, since they 
were only called upon to give one performance, on 26 Decem- 
ber, as against six assigned to Lord Strange’s men, with 
whom at this date Alleyn and the Admiral’s men appear to 
have been in combination. Yet it was still possible for the 
City, writing to Archbishop Whitgift on 25 February 1592, 
to suggest that Elizabeth’s accustomed recreation might be 
sufficiently served, without the need for public plays, ‘ by 
the privat exercise of hir Ma t8 own players in convenient 
place \ 2 That they were again making use of the Theatre 
may perhaps be inferred from a passage in Nashe’s Summer's 
Last Will and Testament of the following autumn, in which 
a Welshman is said to 4 goe ae Theater, and heare a Queenes 
Fice, and he make hur laugh, and laugh hur belly-full \ 3 
During 1591-2 they were at Nottingham, Coventry, Stratford- 

1 Murray, ii. 398 (Southampton), * the Queenes maiesties & the Earle 
of Sussex players, xxx 8 ' , 240 (Coventry), ' the Quenes players & the 
Erie of Sussex players, xv B ' ; 284 (Gloucester), * the Queenes and the 
Earle of Sussex players, xxx 8 At Faversham (Murray, ii. 274) separate 
payments of 1590-1 for the Queen's (20s.) and Essex's (10s.) are followed 
by * to the Queen's Players and to the Earl of Essex's Players ' (20s.). 
It is conceivable that in this last entry 4 Essex's ' may be a slip for 
4 Sussex's '# 

2 App. D, No. lxxxv. 


3 Nashe, Worhs, iii. 244. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 113 

on-Avon, twice at Aldeburgh, and twice at Bath. In 1592 they 
were at Rochester, on 27 May at Norwich, before 29 September 
at Leicester, and early in September at Chesterton close to 
Cambridge. Here they came into conflict with the authorities 
of Cambridge University, who were apprehensive of infection 
from the crowds assembled at Sturbridge fair, and forbade 
them to play. Encouraged by Lord North and by the 
constables of Chesterton, they disobeyed, set up their bills 
upon the college gates, and gave their performance. It is 
interesting to note that 4 one Dutton * was * a principale \ 
and to remember that, twelve years before, the Duttons had 
gone to Cambridge as Lord Oxford’s men and had been 
refused permission to play by the University authorities. 1 
The outcome of the present encounter was a formal protest 
by the Vice-Chancellor and Heads of Houses to the Privy 
Council for which they requested Burghley’s support as 
Chancellor of the University. After a further appeal about 
a year later, they succeeded in obtaining a confirmation of 
their privileges. 2 Another letter from the University to their 
Chancellor, written on 4 December 1592, is of a different 
character. Its object is to excuse themselves from accepting 
an invitation conveyed through the Vice-Chamberlain to 
present an English comedy before Elizabeth at Christmas. 
Sir Thomas Heneage appears to have given it as a reason 
for his request 4 that her Maiesties owne servantes, in this time 
of infection, may not disport her Highnes w th theire wonted 
and ordinary pastimes ’. 3 

On 11 October 1592 the Queen’s men were at Aldeburgh, 
on the same day as, and conceivably in association with, 
Lord Morley’s men, although the payments are distinct. 
They did not in fact appear at Court during the Christmas 
of 1592-3, although both Lord Pembroke’s and Lord 
Strange’s did. They were at Coventry and Stratford-on- 
Avon in the course of 1592-3, at Leicester in June 1593 
and again after Michaelmas, at Bath on 22 August, and at 
York in September. On 6 January 1594 they returned to 
Court and gave what proved to be their last performance 
there. On 1 April they began to play at one of Henslowe’s 

1 M. S. C. i. 190, from Lansd. MSS. 71, 75. The letters are both dated 
18 Sept. 1592, and that to Burghley contained copies of the charters of 
Henry III and Elizabeth, of a Privy Council letter of 30 Oct. 1575 (cf. 
Dasent, ix. 39) forbidding shows within five miles of the University, and 
of the warrant of the Vice-Chancellor and other justices to the constables 
of Chesterton, dated 1 Sept. 1592. 

2 University Letter of 17 July 1593 in M. 5 . C. i. 200, from Lansd. MS. 
75 ; Privy Council Act of 29 July 1593 in Dasent, xxiv. 427. 

3 M. S. C. i. 198, from Lansd. MS. 71. 


2229-2 


I 



THE COMPANIES 


114 

theatres ‘ to geather ’ — that is to say, either alternately or 
in combination — with Sussex’s men, who had already per- 
formed there for the six weeks between Christmas and Lent. 
Possibly this was a renewal of an earlier alliance of 1591. 
Only eight performances are recorded, and of the five plays 
given only King Leire can very reasonably be assigned to the 
repertory of the Queen’s men. The others were The Jew 
of Malta and The Fair Maid of Italy , which Sussex’s men 
had been playing in the winter, Greene’s Friar Bacon and 
Friar Bungay } which was played for Henslowe by other 
companies both before and after, and was probably his 
property, and The Ranger's Comedy , the performances of 
which were being continued by the Admiral’s men in the 
following autumn, but which it is possible that they or 
Henslowe may have acquired from the Queen’s. For there 
can be no doubt that the Queen’s men, whether because 
they had ceased to be modish, or because their finances had 
proved unable to stand the strain of the plague years, were 
now at the end of their London career. On 8 May 1594 the 
significant entry occurs in Henslowe’s diary of a loan of £15 
to his nephew Francis Henslowe * to lay downe for his share 
to the Quenes players when they broke & went into the 
contrey to playe \ 1 This by itself would not perhaps be 
conclusive, as there are other years in which the company 
began its provincial wanderings as early as May. But from 
the present journey there is nothing to show that they ever 
returned, and it may fairly be reckoned as another sign of 
defeat that while The Troublesome Reign of King John (1591) 
was the only play certainly theirs which was printed before 
1594, no less than nine found their way into the publishers’ 
hands during that and the following year. These were, 
besides Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay (1594, S. R. 14 May 
1594), with which they probably had only a recent connexion, 
A Looking Glass for London and England (1594, S. R. 5 March 

1594) , King Leire (1594, S. R. 14 May 1594), James IV and The 
Famous Victories of Henry V (1598, S. R. 14 May 1594), 
The True Tragedy of Richard III (1594, S. R. 19 June 1594), 
Selimus (1594), Peele’s Old Wive's Tale (1595, S. R. 16 April 

1595 ) , and Valentine and Orson (S. R. 23 May 1595), of which 
no copy is known to be extant. Somewhat later came Sir 
Clyomon and Clamydes (1599). 

The Queen’s men were at Coventry on 4 July 1594, 

1 Henslowe, i. 4. The date in the diary is * 8 of Maye 1593 \ but I am 
prepared to accept Dr. Greg's view (ii. 80) that as Francis was pawn- 
broking for his uncle all through 1 593, this must be an error of Henslowe’s 
for * 1594 \ He seems to have actually left London on 18 May 1594. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 


”5 


Bristol in August, and at Bath and Barnstaple, where they 
were unlucky enough to break down the ceiling in the Guild- 
hall, during 1593-4, and thereafter they are traceable right 
up to the end of the reign, at Coventry, Oxford, and Bath 
in 1594-5, at Leicester both before and after Michaelmas 
1595, twice at Coventry and at Ludlow in 1595-6, at Stratford- 
on-Avon on 16 and 17 July 1596, at Bristol in August, at 
Leicester between October and December 1596, and at 
Faversham and Bridgnorth in the same year, at Coventry, 
at Dunwich, and twice at Bath in 1596-7, at Bristol again 
about Christmas 1597, at Nottingham on 8 July 1597, at 
Bristol about 25 July, at Bath in 1597-8, at Leicester on 
9 January 1598, at Maldon in 1598, at Ipswich and Reading 
in 1598-9, at Maldon in 1599, at Dunwich in 1599-1600, 
at Ipswich on 2 June 1600, and at Leicester before 29 Sept- 
ember in the same year, at Coventry and Bath in 1600-1, 
at York in July 1602, at Leicester on 30 September 1602, at 
Belvoir in August or September of the same year, and at 
Coventry in 1602-3. But little, naturally enough, is known 
of the personnel of the company during this period of its 
decay. On 1 June 1595 Francis Henslowe borrowed another 
£9 from his uncle * to laye downe for his hallfe share w th the 
company w ch he dothe playe w th all ’,* and I see no particular 
reason to suppose that this was another company than the 
Queen’s. The loan is witnessed by William Smyght, George 
Attewell, and Robert Nycowlles, each of whom is described 
as * player ’. It is likely enough that these were now fellows 
of Francis Henslowe. Attewell had been payee for Lord 
Strange’s men in 1591. The earlier loan was witnessed by 
John Towne, Hugh Davis, and Richard Alleyn. Davis and 
Alleyn appear elsewhere in connexion with Henslowe, but 
Towne was certainly a Queen’s man. He is in the 1588 list 
and is described as * one of her Majesties plears ’ when on 
8 July 1597 he obtained a release of debts due to Roger 
Clarke of Nottingham. 2 The other men of 1588 had nearly 
all vanished. John Singer had joined the Admiral’s by the 
autumn of 1594. I should not be surprised, however, to find 
that John Garland was still with the Queen’s. He was an 
associate of Francis Henslowe in the Duke of Lennox’s men 
in 1604, and was then ‘ owld ’ Garland. Indeed, it seems 
probable that, when the Queen’s men lost their last shred of 
claim to a livery on Elizabeth’s death, they made an attempt 
still to hold together under the patronage of Lennox. John 
Shank was once a Queen’s man. 


1 Henslowe, i. 6. 


2 W. H. Stevenson, Nottingham Records , iv. 244. 



n6 


THE COMPANIES 


xiv. THE EARL OF ARUNDEL’S MEN 

Henry Fitzalan, 12th Earl of Arundel ; nat. c. 1511 ; m. (1) Kathe- 
rine, d. of Thomas Grey, Marquis of Dorset, before 1532, (2) Mary, 
Countess of Sussex, d. of Sir John Arundel, after 1542 ; succ. Jan. 
1544; Lord Chamberlain, 1544; Lord Steward, 1553, and again 
1558-64 ; ob. 24 Feb. 1580. 

Philip Howard, 13th Earl of Arundel, s. of Thomas Howard, 4th 
Duke of Norfolk, attainted 1572, and Mary, d. and h. of 12th Earl r 
nat . 28 June 1557 ; m. Anne, d. of Thomas, Lord Dacre, 1571 ; succ. 
Feb. 1580 ; sent to Tower, 25 Apr. 1585, and ob. there, 19 Oct. 1595. 

The Earls of Arundel had players as far back as the fifteenth 
century. 1 The 12th Earl entertained Elizabeth with a mask 
at Nonsuch on 5 August 1559. He had players, who were 
rewarded by the Duchess of Suffolk, apparently during 
a London visit, in December 1561. The 13th Earl had a 
company in 1584. It was in London when plays were sup- 
pressed in June, and obediently submitted. It seems to have 
been located at the Curtain. It can be traced at Ipswich 
on 1 July, at Leicester before 29 September, at Aldeburgh 
in 1583-4, at Norwich in 1585-6, and thereafter no more. 

xv. THE EARL OF HERTFORD’S MEN 

Edward Seymour, s. of Edward, Protector and 1st and attainted 
Duke of Somerset ; nat. 25 May 1539 ; cr. Earl of Hertford, 13 Jan. 
1559 ; m. (1) Lady Catherine Grey, d. of Henry, Duke of Suffolk, 
c. Nov. 1560, (2) Frances, d. of William, 1st Lord Howard of Effingham, 
before 1582, (3) Frances, d. of Thomas, Lord Howard of Bindon and 
widow of Henry Pranell, Dec. 1600 ; ob. 6 Apr. 1621. 

These are among the most obscure of the companies. 
They appeared at Canterbury in 1582, Faversham in 1586, 
Newcastle in October 1590, Leicester on 22 November 
1590, and Bath, Marlborough, and Southampton in 1591-2. 
During the progress of 1591 Elizabeth was entertained 
from 20 to 24 September by the Earl at Elvetham in Hamp- 
shire 4 beeing none of the Earles chiefe mansion houses ’ 
(cf. ch. xxiv). This was really a visit of reconciliation, for 
much of Hertford’s life had been spent in disgrace, owing 
to his first marriage with the heiress, under Henry VIII’s 
will, to Elizabeth’s throne. The entertainment was very 
elaborate, and at its close Elizabeth protested to the Earl 
that it was so honourable 4 as hereafter he should find the 
rewarde thereof in her especiall favour *. No doubt Hertford’s 
players took a part, and shared the 4 largesse ’ which she 
1 Mediaeval Stage, ii. 186, 251. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 


117 


bestowed upon the * actors * of the pastimes before she 
departed. I think it must have also been their success on 
this occasion which earned them their only appearance at 
Court, on the following 6 January 1592. I have elsewhere 
tried to show that there is a special connexion between this 
Elvetham entertainment and A Midsummer- Night's Dream, 1 
and if any special company is satirized in Bottom and his 
fellows, I feel sure that it must have been the Earl of Hertford’s 
and not, as Mr. Fleay thinks, the Earl of Sussex’s. 2 

Probably the company went under in the plague of 1592-4, 
and in 1595 Hertford was again in disgrace for presuming 
so far upon his favour as to claim a declaration of the validity 
of his first marriage. But there were players under his name 
at Coventry in 1596-7, at Ipswich in 1600-1, and on 8 May 
1602, at Norwich in 1601, and at Bath in 1601-2, and this 
company appeared at Court on 6 January 1603. Their payee 
was Martin Slater, formerly of the Admiral’s, and since then, 
possibly, an associate of Laurence Fletcher in his Scottish 
tours. In 1604-5 they were at Norwich. In 1606 they visited 
Leicester, on 9 July Oxford, and on 2 December the Earl of 
Derby wrote to the Mayor of Chester to bespeak for them the 
use of the town-hall. In 1606-7 they were at Coventry. 

xvi. MR. EVELYN’S MEN (1588) 

George Evelyn, of Wotton, Surrey ; nat. 1530 ; ob. 1603. 

Collier gives no authority for the following rather puzzling 
statement : 3 

‘ In Feb. 1587, the Earl of Warwick obtained a warrant for the 
payment of the claim of George Evelyn of Wotton, for provisions 
supplied to the Tower, and for the reward of actors on Shrove Tuesday 
for a Play, the title of which is not given nor the name of the company 
by which it was performed : the whole sum amounted to only 12s .’ 

The date intended must be 1588, as in 1587 Shrovetide 
fell in March. But there is probably some misunderstanding, 
as no such payment occurs in the Treasurer of the Chamber’s 
accounts, and the sum named is too small for a reward. 
Moreover, private gentlemen do not seem to have entertained 
Court companies at so late a date. The Revels Account for 
1587-8 only records seven plays. Of these the Treasurer 
of the Chamber paid for six, and the seventh was presented 
by Gray’s Inn. 

1 Sh. Homage , 154. 2 Fleay, Shakespeare , 184. 

3 Collier, i. 259. 



ii8 THE COMPANIES 

xvii. THE EARL OF DERBY’S (LORD STRANGE’S) MEN 

Henry Stanley, s. of Edward, 3rd Earl of Derby ; nat. 1531 ; known 
as Lord Strange ; m. Margaret, d. of Henry, 2nd Earl of Cumberland, 

7 Feb. 1555 ,* succ. as 4th Earl, 24 Oct. 1572 ; Lord Steward, 1588 ; 
ob. 25 Sept. 1593. 

Ferdinando Stanley, 2nd s. of Henry, 4th Earl of Derby ; nat . 
c. 1559 ; m. Alice, d. of Sir John Spencer of Althorp, 1579 ; summoned 
to Parliament as Lord Strange, 28 Jan. 1589 ; succ. as 5th Earl of 
Derby, 25 Sept. 1593 ; ob. 16 Apr. 1594. 

William Stanley, s. of Henry, 4th Earl of Derby ; nat . 1561 ; succ. 
as 6th Eail of Derby, 16 Apr. 1594 ; m. Elizabeth, d. of Edward, 17th 
Earl of Oxford, 26 Jan. 1595 ; ob. 29 Sept. 1642. 

The companies connected with the great northern house 
of Stanley present a history perhaps more complicated than 
that of any other group, partly because it seems to have been 
not unusual for the heir of the house to entertain players 
during his father’s life-time. The 3rd Earl had a company 
in Henry the Eighth’s reign. His successor had one as Lord 
Strange, which is only recorded in the provinces, in 1563-70. 1 
Four years later he had again a company as Earl of Derby. 
The earliest mention of it is at Coventry in 1573-4. It was 
at Dover and Coventry in 1577-8, at Ipswich on 28 May 1578, 
at Nottingham on 31 August 1578, at Bristol in the same year, 
and at Bath in 1578-9. In the last three months of 1579 it 
was at Leicester ; and during the following Christmas it made 
its first appearance at Court with a performance of The Soldan 

and the Duke of on 14 February 1580. In 1579 -80 it was 

at Stratford-on-Avon, Exeter, and Coventry, on 1 January 
1581 at Court, in 1580-1 at Bath, Leicester, Nottingham, 
Exeter, and Winchester, in 1581-2 at Nottingham, Winchester, 
and Abingdon, in October to December 1582 at Leicester, 
and in 1582-3 at Bath, Norwich, and Southampton. Its last 
appearance at Court was in Love and Fortune on 30 December 
1582. 

I think that the Earl of Derby’s players must be taken to 
be distinct from another company, which was performing 
during much the same period of years under the name of 
Lord Strange. These men are found in 1576-7 at Exeter, in 
i 578-9 at Bath, Ipswich, Rochester, Nottingham, Coventry, 
and Stratford-on-Avon, They also made their first appearance 
at Court in the winter ot 1579-80. Their performance was on 
15 January 1580, and they are spoken of, not as players, 
but as tumblers. On the other hand they appear as players 

1 Murray, i. 294. I add Maldon (1564-5). There is no proof that 
1 Beeston and his fellowes ’ at Barnstaple in 1560-1 were Strange’s. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 


ng 


<at Bath, side by side with Derby’s men, in 1580-1 and 1582-3, 
and as players also at Bristol, Canterbury, and Gloucester in 
1580-1, Plymouth in 1581-2, and Barnstaple in 1582-3 and 
1583-4. With the tumbling at Court in 1580 begins a rather 
puzzling series of records. There are further Court entries 
of feats of activity by Lord Strange’s men* on 28 December 
1581, and of feats of activity and tumbling on 1 January 
1583. For this last occasion the payee of the company was 
John Symons. Two years later Symons and his 4 fellows ’ 
were again at Court with feats of activity and vaulting, 
but they were then under the patronage, not of Lord Strange, 
but of the Earl of Oxford. There would be nothing extra- 
ordinary about such a transference of service, were it not that 
during the following Christmas, on 9 January 1586, tumbling 
and feats of activity are ascribed to John Symons and 
4 Mr. Standleyes boyes ’, and that by 4 Mr. Standley ’ one 
can hardly help assuming either Ferdinando Stanley, Lord 
Strange, or some other member of his family to be intended. 
This inference is confirmed by a mention of Lord Strange’s 
men at Faversham in 1585-6, and it becomes necessary to 
assume that, after attaching himself for a year to the Earl of 
Oxford, Symons thought better of it, and returned to his 
original master. Symons and his company again showed 
feats of activity on 28 December 1587. No patron is named 
on this occasion, but as Strange’s men are traceable at 
Coventry during 1587-8, it is natural to assume that they 
were still holding together. Now a new complication comes 
in. There were activities again at Court in the winter of 
1588-9, and Symons certainly took part in them. 1 But the 
only men companies to whom payments were made were the 
Queen’s and the Admiral’s, who now reappear at Court after 
absence during two winters, and it is only in the case of the 
Admiral’s that the payment is specified to be for activities. 
If the restless Symons had joined the Admiral’s men, it 
cannot have been for long, since in the course of 1588-9 
he was leading one section of the Queen’s men to Nottingham. 
Nor had Strange’s yet entirely broken up, for on 5 November 
1589, both they and the Admiral’s, evidently playing as 
distinct companies, were suppressed by the Lord Mayor 
in the City. 2 Strange’s, who were then at the Cross Keys, 
played contemptuously, and some of them were imprisoned. 

1 The Revels account for 1587-9 (Feuillerat, Eltz . 390) includes ' a paire 
of fllaqell hose for Symmons the Tumbler \ which is not in the separate 
account for 1587-8 (Feuillerat, Eliz. 380). 

2 App. D, No. lxxxii. The forged list of Queen’s men (q.v.) in 1589 is 
sometimes, by a further error, whose I do not know, assigned to Strange’s, 



120 THE COMPANIES 

A year later, the Admiral’s were with Burbadge at the Theatre, 
and there I conceive that the residue of Strange’s, deserted 
by Symons, had joined them. If they were too many for 
the house, we know that the Curtain was available as an 
4 easer \ After the quarrel with Burbadge in May 1591, the 
two companies probably went together to the Rose. The 
main evidence for such a theory is that, while the Privy 
Council record of play-warrants include two for the Admiral’s 
men in respect of plays and feats of activity on 27 December 
1590 and 16 February 1591, the corresponding Chamber pay- 
ments are to George Ottewell on behalf of Strange’s men. 

This amalgamation of Strange’s and the Admiral’s, tentative 
perhaps in 1588-9, and conclusive, if not in 1589-90, at any rate 
in 1590-1, lasted until 1594. So far as Court records are con- 
cerned, the company seems to have been regarded as Strange’s. 
But the leading actor, Edward Alleyn, kept his personal 
status as the Lord Admiral’s servant, and it is to be observed 
that, for whatever reason, both the Admiral’s and Strange’s 
continue to appear, not only in combination, but also separately 
in provincial documents. 1 * * Of this various explanations are 
conceivable. One is that the municipal officials were not 
very precise in their methods, and when an amalgamated 

1 I had better give the complicated and in some cases uncertain notices 
in full ; the unspecified references are to Murray : Cambridge (i 591-2) , 4 my 
Lord Stranges plaiers ’ (Cooper, li. 518), and so also (11. 229, 284) Canterbury 

(13 July 1592) and Gloucester (1591-2) ; Bath (1 591-10 June 1592), * my 
Lord Admiralls players * ... * my L. Stranges plaiers ’ (ii. 202) ; Aldeburgh 
(1591-2), ‘ my Lord Admirals players ' (Stopes, Hunnis, 314) ; Shrewsbury 

(30 Sept. 1591-29 Sept. 1592), ‘my L. Admeralls players’ . . . ‘my 
1 . Stranges and my 1 . Admyralls players ’ (ii. 392, s. a. 1592-3, but the 
entries for the two years seem to be transposed ; vide infra) ; Coventry 
(10 Dec. 1591-29 Nov. 1592)* ‘the Lord Strange players’ (ii. 240); 
Leicester (19 Dec. 1592), ‘ the Lorde Admiralls Playars ' (11. 305) ; Shrews- 
bury (30 Sept. 1592-29 Sept. 1593). ‘ The iii of Feb: 1592. Bestowed 
vppon the players of my Lorde Admyrall ’ . . , ‘ my L. Darbyes men 
being players ’ (ii. 392, s. a. 1 591-2, but the detailed date and the name 
Derby make an error palpable) ; Bath (11 June 1592-10 Sept. 1593), ‘ my 
L. Stranges plaiers' (ii. 203) ; Coventry (30 Nov. 1592-26 Nov. 1593), 
‘the Lo Admiralls players’ (ii. 240); York (April 1593), ‘the Lord 
Admerall & Lord Mordens players ’ (ii. 412) ; Newcastle (May 1593), ‘ my 
Lord Admiralls plaiers, and my Lord Morleis plaiers being all in one com- 
panye ’ (G. B. Richardson, Extracts from Municipal Accounts of N.); South- 
ampton (1592-3), ‘ my L. Morleys players and the Earle of Darbyes ’ (ii. 398, 
‘ c, 18 May but Strange became Derby on 25 Sept.) ; Leicester (Oct.-Dec. 

1 593), ‘ the Erie of Darbyes playors ' (ii. 306) ; Coventry (2 Dec. 1 593), * the 
Lo: of Darbyes players ’* (ii. 240) ; Bath (11 Sept. 1593-1594)# ‘ the L. 
Admiralls, the L. Norris players ’ (ii. 203) ; Ipswich (7 March 1594), 
‘ vnto therlle of Darbys players and to the Lorde Admirals players, the 
ij amongste ’ (ii. 293, s. a. 1 591-2, but on 7 March 1592 Strange was not 
yet Derby, and his men were playing for Henslowe) . 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 


121 


company came before them, sometimes entered the name of 
one lord, sometimes of the other, sometimes of both. Another 
is that a few of the Admiral’s men may have been left out 
of the amalgamation and have travelled separately under 
that name. We know, of course, that Richard Jones and 
others went abroad in 1592, but they may have spent some 
time in the provinces first. And thirdly, it is possible that, 
while the combined company performed as a whole in London, 
they found it more economical to take their authorities from 
both lords with them, when they went to the country in the 
summer, and to unite or divide their forces as convenience 
prompted. I am the more inclined to this third conjecture, 
in that the 4 intollerable ’ charge of travelling with a great 
company and the danger of 4 division and separacion ’ 
involved were explicitly put forward by Lord Strange’s 
men in a petition to the Privy Council for leave to quit 
Newington Butts, where they had been commanded to play 
during a long vacation, and return to their normal quarters, 
doubtless at the Rose, on the Bankside. They particularly 
wanted to avoid going to the country, but Newington Butts 
did not pay, and they were backed by the Thames watermen, 
who lost custom when the Rose was not open. It is not clear 
whether this petition belongs to 1591 or 1592. 1 The provincial 
records show that the company probably travelled during 
1592, but not 1591. If the petition belongs to 1592, it is 
obvious that the plague intervened, and I strongly suspect 
that the company’s fears proved justified, and that the re- 
organization for provincial work did in fact lead to a 4 division 
and separacion ’, by the splitting off of some members of 
the combine as Pembroke’s men (q.v.). 

This, however, anticipates a little. To Alleyn’s talent 
must be attributed the remarkable success of the company 
in the winter of 1591-2, during which they were called upon 
to give six performances at Court, on 27 and 28 December, 
1 and 9 January, and 6 and 8 February, as against one each 
allotted to the Queen’s, Sussex’s, and Hertford’s men. On 
19 February 1592 the company began a season with Philip 
Henslowe, probably at the Rose, and played six days a week 
for a period of eighteen weeks, during which they only missed 
Good Friday and two other days. Henslowe records in his 
diary the name of the play staged at each of the hundred and 
five performances, together with a sum of money which 
probably represents his share of the takings. 2 If so, his 

1 App. D, No. xcii. 

3 Henslowe, i. 13. The account is headed, ‘ Jn the name of god Amen 
159X beginge the 19 of febreary my lord stranges mene a ffoloweth 1591 ’. 



122 


THE COMPANIES 


average receipts were £i 14s . 0 d. ; but the daily amounts 
fluctuated considerably, sometimes falling to a few shillings 
and again rising to twice the average on the production of 
a new or popular play or during the Easter or Whitsun 
holiday. Twenty-three plays in all were given, for any 
number of days from one to fifteen ; the same play was 
rarely repeated in any one week. Five of the plays are marked 
in the diary with the letters ne , which are reasonably taken 
to indicate the production of a new piece. These were 
4 Harey the vj ’, probably Shakespeare’s 1 Henry VI , Titus 
and Vespasian , probably the play on which was based 
Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus y the Second Part of Tamar 
Cham , The Tanner of Denmark , and A Knack to Know a Knave . 
The eighteen old plays included Marlowe’s Jew of Malta , 
Greene’s Orlando Furioso and Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay y 
Greene and Lodge’s A Looking Glass for London ; also Muly 
Mollocco which might be Peele’s Battle of Alcazar , Four Plays 
in One , which is conjectured to be a part of Tarlton’s Seven 
Deadly Sins y and Jeronimo , which is almost certainly Kyd’s 
Spanish Tragedy . There was also a play, sometimes given 
on the day before this last, under the varying titles of Don 
Horatio , the Comedy of Jeronimo , or The Spanish Comedy , 
which does not appear to have been preserved. 1 The same 
fate has befallen the other ten plays, of which the names 
were Sir John Mandeville, Henry of Cornwall , Clorys and 
Orgasto , Pope Joan , Machiavel , Bindo and Richardo y Zenobia y 
Constantine , Jerusalem , and Brandimer. From the financial 
point of view, the greatest successes were Titus and Vespasian , 
The Jew of Malta , 2 Tamar Cham y 1 Henry VI y and The 
Spanish Tragedy . These averaged respectively for Henslowe 
£ 2 8s. 6 d. for seven days, £2 35. 6 d. for ten days, £2 is. 6 d. 
for five days, £2 os. 6 d. for fifteen days, and £1 17s. od. for 
thirteen days. The Seven Deadly Sins and perhaps also the 
Looking Glass must have passed in some way into the hands 
of Strange’s or the Admiral’s, or into Henslowe’s, from the 
Queen’s. 

The performances came to an end on 23 June, for on that 
day the Privy Council inhibited all plays until Michaelmas. 
Whether the Newington Butts episode and the watermen’s 
petition followed or not, at any rate plague intervened in 
the course of the summer, and the company had to face the 
disadvantages of travelling. They were afoot by 13 July 
and still on 19 December, Ten days later, Henslowe resumed 

1 Cf. ch. xxiv, s.v. j Jeronimo. Some marginal notes of sums of money 
are not clearly intelligible, but may represent sums advanced by Henslowe 
for the company. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 


123 


his account, and the resemblance of the list of plays to 
that of the previous spring renders it reasonable to suppose 
that the actors were the same. 1 The season lasted to 
the end of January 1593, and a play was given on each of 
the twenty-six week-days of this period. Muly Mollocco, 
The Spanish Tragedy , A Knack to Know a Knave , The 
Jew of Malta , Sir John Mandeville , Titus and Vespasian , 
Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay , 1 Henry VI, and 2 Tamar 
Cham all made their appearance again. In addition, there 
were a comedy called Cosmo , and two new plays, The Jealous 
Comedy , which may, I think, be The Comedy of Errors, and 
The Tragedy of the Guise , which is usually accepted as Mar- 
lowe’s Massacre of Paris . The first representation of the 
former yielded Henslowe £2 4 s. o d., that of the latter 
£3 145. 0 d. ; as in the spring, his daily takings averaged 
£1 14s. o d. Besides their public performances, Strange’s 
men were called upon for three plays at Court, on the evenings 
of 27 and 31 December 1592 and 1 January 1593. 

The plague made a new inhibition of plays necessary on 
28 January, but it does not seem to have been for some 
months that Strange’s men made up their minds to travel. 
A special licence issued in their favour by the Privy Council 
on 6 May is registered in the following terms : 

‘ Whereas it was thought meet that during the time of the infection 
and continewaunce of the sicknes in the citie of London there shold 
no plaies or enterludes be usd, for th’ avoiding of th’ assemblies and 
concourse of people in anie usual place apointed nere the said cittie, 
and though the bearers hereof, Edward Allen, servaunt to the right 
honorable the Lord Highe Admiral, William Kemp, Thomas Pope, John 
Heminges, Augustine Phillipes and Georg Brian, being al one com- 
panie, servauntes to our verie good the Lord the Lord Strainge, ar 
restrained their exercize of playing within the said citie and liberties 
thereof, yet it is not therby ment but that they shal and maie in 
regard of the service by them don and to be don at the Court exercize 
their quallitie of playing comodies, tragedies and such like in anie other 
cities, townes and corporacions where the infection is not, so it be not 
within seaven miles of London or of the Coort, that they maie be in the 
better readines hereafter for her Majesty’s service whensoever they 
shalbe therunto called. Theis therfore shalbe to wil and require you 
that they maie without their lett or contradiccion use their said 
exercize at their most convenient times and places (the accustomed 
times of Devine praiers excepted).’ 8 

The importance of' this document is in the information 
which it gives as to the composition of the company. Presum- 
ably only the leaders are named, and of these Alleyn alone 

1 Henslowe, i. 15. 2 Dasent, xxiv. 212. 



124 


THE COMPANIES 


is speciallyjiesignated as an Admiral’s man. Kempe, at any 
rate, and probably also Pope and Bryan, were in Leicester’s 
service in the Low Countries during 1586, and all three were 
together during the same year in Denmark. Whether they 
had belonged, as has sometimes been supposed, to Leicester’s 
long-enduring company of Court players is less certain. 
Pope and Bryan passed from Denmark to Germany, and 
may have joined the Admiral’s or Strange’s on their return. 
They also were acrobats as well as players. 1 Kempe, however, 
seems to have parted company from the others in Denmark, 
and may have joined Strange’s independently, presumably 
before 10 June 1592, when A Knack to Know a Knave , in 
which he played 4 merrimentes ’, was produced. Heminges 
may possibly have been a Queen’s man. 

Some details of the 1593 tour and the names of two or 
three more members of the company are found in the familiar 
correspondence of Alleyn with his wife, whom he had married 
on 22 October 1592, and with Philip Henslowe, who was her 
step-father. 2 On 2 May he writes from Chelmsford, and on 
1 August from Bristol. Here he had received a letter by 
Richard Cowley and he sends his reply by a kinsman of 
Thomas Pope. At the moment of writing he is ready to 
play Harry of Cornwall . He asks that further letters may be 
sent to him by the carriers to Shrewsbury, West Chester, or 
York, 4 to be keptt till my Lord Stranges players com ’. He 
does not expect to be home until All Saints’ Day. A reply 
from Henslowe and Mrs. Alleyn on 14 August is in fact 
addressed to 4 Mr. Edwarde Allen on of my lorde Stranges 
players \ This mentions an illness of Alleyn at Bath during 
which one of his fellows had had to play his part. With 
these letters is one written to Mrs. Allen on behalf of a 
4 servant ’ of Alleyn’s, whose name was Pige or Pyk, by 
the hand of Mr. Doutone, possibly Edward Dutton, but 
perhaps more probably Thomas Dowten or Downton, who 
was later a sharer among the Admiral’s men. The provincial 
records, subject to the confusion of company nomenclature 
already noted, appear to confirm the visits to Bath, Shrews- 
bury, and York, to indicate others to Southampton, Leicester, 
Coventry, Ipswich, and Newcastle, and to show that some 
temporary alliance had been entered into with the purely 
provincial company of Lord Morley. 3 After 25 September 
1593 Strange’s men of course became Derby’s men. 

1 Cf. W. W. Greg in Henslowe, ii. 70. 

2 Dulwich MSS . i. 9-j 5 (Henslowe Papers , 34) ; cf. Henslowe, i. 3. 

3 Their patron was Edward Parker, Lord Morley (Murray, ii. 54). 
I suspect the Morden of the York entry and the Norris of the Bath entry 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 


*25 


I now come to a difficult point. There exists amongst 
the Dulwich papers a 4 plott * or prompter’s abstract of 
a play called The Second Part of the Seven Deadly Sins , which 
an ingenious conjecture of Mr. Fleay has identified on internal 
evidence with the Four Plays in One included in the Strange’s 
repertory of 1592. 1 In this leading parts were taken, not 
only by 4 Mr. Pope 4 Mr. Phillipps ’, and 4 Mr. Brian ’, 
but also by 4 Richard Burbadge ’ ; lesser ones by Richard 
Cowley, John Duke, Robert Pallant, John Sincler, Thomas 
Goodale, William Sly, J. Holland, and three others described 
only as Harry, Kitt, and Vincent ; and female parts by 
Saunder, Nick, Robert, Ned, Will, and T. Belt, who may 
be presumed to have been boys. 2 Alleyn, Kempe, and 
Heminges are not named, but there are several parts to which 
no actors are assigned. What, however, is the date of the 
4 plott ’ ? Not necessarily 1592, for the performance of Four 
Plays in One in that year was only a revival. The authorship 
of the Seven Deadly Sins is ascribed to Tarlton, and therefore 
the original owners were probably the Queen’s men. They 
are not very likely to have parted with it before Tarlton’s death 
in 1588 brought the first shock to their fortunes, but clearly it 
may have come into the possession of Strange’s or the Admiral’s 
or the combined company before ever they reached the Rose. 
And surely the appearance of Richard Burbadge suggests 
that the 4 plott ’ was brought from the Theatre, and represents 
a performance there. He is very unlikely to have joined 
at the Rose the company which had just been driven there 
by a quarrel with his father. It is true that in the ‘plott’ of 
Dead Man's Fortune , which also probably dates from the 
sojourn of the Admiral’s (q.v.) at the Theatre, he was apparently 
not playing leading parts but only a messenger. But the 
wording is obscure, and after all the absence of the prefix 
4 Mr.* from his name in the 4 plott * of the Sins may indicate, 
in accordance with the ordinary usage of the Dulwich docu- 

of being both transcriber’s errors for Morley. No players of Lord Norris 
are on record, and those of Lord Mordaunt (Murray, ii. 90) only recur 
in 1585-6 and 1602. 

1 Text in Henslowe Papers, 130 ; on the nature of a ‘ plott cf. App. N. 

2 The following rather hazardous identifications have been attempted 
by Greg (loc. cit.) and Fleay, 84 : * Harry ’ = Henry Condell (Fleay, Greg) ; 
1 Kit ' = Christopher Beeston (Fleay, Greg) ; * Saunder ’ = Alexander Cooke 
(Fleay, Greg) ; * Nick ’ = Nicholas Tooley (Fleay, Greg) ; ‘ Ro. ' or ‘ R. 
Go. ’ = Robert Gough (Fleay, Greg) ; 4 Ned ' = Edward Alleyn or Edmund 
Shakespeare (Fleay) ; * Will * = William Tawyer (Fleay), William Tawler 
(Greg). The object is, of course, to establish the connexion between 
Strange’s and the Chamberlain’s men. Both writers assign two of the 
unallocated parts to Heminges and Shakespeare. 



126 


THE COMPANIES 


ments, that he was not yet a sharer when it was drawn up. 
Apparently, then, at least four of Strange’s men, as we find 
them in 1593, besides Alleyn, had been playing at the Theatre 
about 1590-1. These were Pope, Phillips, Bryan, and 
Cowley. Obviously we cannot say whether it was to the 
original Admiral’s or the original Strange’s that they belonged. 
One other point of personnel must not be overlooked. Shake* 
speare contributed to the repertory of Strange’s in 1592 and 
perhaps also in 1593. Greene calls him a Shake-scene, but 
neither the 4 plott ’ of 1590, nor the licence of 1593, nor the 
Alleyn correspondence of the same year, yields his name. 1 

Derby’s men did not appear at Court during the winter 
of I 593~4- On 16 April 1594 Lord Derby died. On 16 May 
the company used the Countess’s name at Winchester. It 
seems clear that during the summer there was some re-shuffling 
of the companies, that Alleyn took the leadership of a new 
body of Admiral’s men, that several other members of the 
old combination, including Pope, Heminges, Kempe, and 
Phillips, joined with Burbadge, Shakespeare, and Sly, under 
the patronage of the Lord Chamberlain, Henry Lord Hunsdon, 
and that, after a short period of co-operation with each other 
and Henslowe, the two companies definitely parted. In the 
course of 1594 the name of Derby’s men appeared upon the 
title-page of Titus Andronicus , probably because they had 
played it in its earlier form of Titus and Vespasian in 1592-3, 
before it passed to Pembroke’s and from them to Sussex’s. 
In the same year was published A Knack to Know a Knave 
(S. R. 7 January 1594) as played 4 by Ed. Allen and his 
companie ’ and with 4 merrimentes ’ by Kemp. This also 
belongs to the 1592-3 repertory, of the other plays in which 
I Henry VI, like Titus Andronicus , passed ultimately to the 
Chamberlain’s men, and a considerable number, either as 
their own property or that of Henslowe, to the Admiral’s. 
These included Tamar Cham , The Battle of Alcazar , The 
Spanish Tragedy, The Jew of Malta, The Massacre of Paris, 
Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay, and probably Orlando Furioso, 
of Orlando’s part in which a transcript, with alterations in 
Alleyn’s hand, is preserved at Dulwich. 2 The only play not 
named in Henslowe’s diary which can be traced to the 
company is Fair Em, which bears the name of Lord Strange’s 
men on its title-page, but of which the first edition is undated. 

It is possible that those of the fifth Earl of Derby’s men 
who did not take service with the Lord Chamberlain, passed 
into a provincial period of existence under his successor, 

1 For speculation as to Shakespeare's early career, cf. s.v. Pembroke's. 
«*, 2 Text in Henslowe Papers, 155. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 


127 


the sixth Earl. A company bearing his name was at Norwich 
on 15 September 1594, at Dunwich in 1594-5 and 1595--6, at 
Coventry, Bath, and Stratford in 1595-6, at Leicester between 
October and December 1596, at Bath in 1596-7, at Mai don 
in 1597, at Coventry twice in 1597-8, at Leicester in 1597-8, 
and between October and December 1598, at Wollaton (Percival 
Willoughby’s) on 7 October 1599, and at Leicester again on 
16 October 1599. Letters of 30 June 1599 relate that the 
Earl of Derby was then ‘ busy penning comedies for the 
common players ’, and it is perhaps natural to suppose that 
his own company were chosen as the exponents of his 
art. 1 This perhaps explains its appearance at Court during the 
winters of 1599-1600 and 1600-1. Four performances were 
given, on 3 and 5 February 1600 and 1 and 6 January 1601, 
and for these Robert Browne, who had been both with 
Worcester’s men and the Admiral’s, but much of whose 
dramatic career had been spent in Germany, was the payee. 
In an undated letter to Sir Robert Cecil, Lady Derby writes, 

4 Being importuned by my Lord to intreat your favor that his 
man Browne, with his companye, may not be bared from ther 
accoustomed plaing, in maintenance wherof they have con- 
sumde the better part of ther substance, if so vaine a matter 
shall not seame troublesum to you, I could desier that your 
furderance might be a meane to uphold them, for that my 
Lord taking delite in them, it will kepe him from moer prodigall 
courses \ 2 To this company are doubtless to be assigned 
Edward IV, perhaps by Heywood (1600, S. R. 28 August 
1599), and the anonymous Trial of Chivalry (1605, S. R. 
4 December 1604), both of which are credited to Derby’s men 
on their title-pages. It again becomes provincial and is trace- 
able at Norwich on 27 February and 9 June 1602, at Ipswich 
on 4 June 1602, and thereafter up to 1618, chiefly at Coventry 
and at Gawthorpe Hall, the house of Derby’s neighbours, the 
Shuttleworths. 3 

John Taylor, the water-poet, returned from his journey 
to Scotland in 1618 at the Maidenhead Inn, Islington, and 
here after supper on 14 October * we had a play of the Life 
and Death of Guy of Warwick, played by the Right Honour- 
able the Earl of Derby his men Presumably this was 
Day and Dekker’s play entered on the Stationers’ Register in 
1619, which Mr. Bullen declines to identify with the Guy of 
Warwick published as ‘ by B. J.’ in 1661. 4 

1 George Fanner to H. Galdelli and G. Tusinga in S. P. Dom. Eliz. cclxxi. 
34, 35. I do not accept Mr. James Greenstreet's theory that W. Stanley 
was the real W. Shakespeare. 2 Hatfield MSS. xiii. 609. 

8 Murray, i. 295. 4 Taylor, Penniless Pilgrimage (ed. Hindley), 67. 



128 


THE COMPANIES 


xviii. THE EARL OF PEMBROKE’S MEN 

Henry Herbert, s. of Wilb'am, ist Earl of Pembroke ; nat . c. 1534 ; 
succ. as 2nd Earl, 17 Mar. 1570 ; m. (1) Catherine, d. of Henry Grey, 
Duke of Suffolk, 21 May 1553, (2) Catherine, d. of George Talbot, 
Earl of Shrewsbury, 17 Feb. 1563, (3) Mary, d. of Sir Henry Sidney, 
c, Apr. 1577 ' ; President of Wales, 1586; residences, Baynard’s Castle, 
London, Wilton House, Wilts., Ludlow Castle, &c. ; ob, 9 Jan. i6ox. 

[Bibliographical Note . — Halliwell-Phillipps collected provincial records 
and other notes on Pembroke’s men in A Budget of Notes and Memoranda 
(1880). The Bill, Answer, and Replication in Shaw et al. v. Langley 
(x 597-8, Court of Requests) are in C. W. Wallace, The Swan Theatre and 
the Earl of Pembroke's Servants (1911, E. S. xliii. 340).] 

There is an isolated record of a Pembroke’s company at 
Canterbury in 1575-6, hardly to be regarded as continuous 
with that which makes its appearance in the last decade 
of the century. Fleay, 87, puts the origin of the latter in 
1589, and supposes it to be a continuation of Worcester’s 
men after the death of their original patron in 1589, and to 
be the company ridiculed by Nashe (iii. 324) for playing 
Delphrigus and The King of the Fairies , in his preface to 
Greene’s Menaphon (1589). But this Worcester’s company is 
not in fact traceable during 1585-9, and Fleay ’s theory is 
only based on the allusion to Hamlet in the same preface 
(iii. 315), and the assumption that the Ur-Hamlet, like 
some other plays, passed to the Chamberlain’s from Pem- 
broke’s, whereas it may just as well have passed to them from 
Strange’s. As a matter of fact, there is no mention of Pem- 
broke’s before 1592 and no reason to suppose that it had 
an earlier existence. It will be well to detail the few facts 
of its history before attempting anything in the nature of 
conjecture. It was at Leicester in the last three months of 
1592 and made its only appearances at Court on 26 December 
1592 and 6 January 1593. In the following summer it travelled, 
and is found at York in June, at Rye in July, and in 1592-3 
at Ludlow, Shrewsbury, Coventry, Bath, and Ipswich. But 
it had little success. Henslowe wrote to Alleyn on 28 Sep- 
tember, ‘As for my lorde a Penbrockes w ch you desier 
to knowe wheare they be they ar all at home and hausse 
ben this v or sixe weackes for they cane not saue ther carges 
w tb trauell as I heare & weare fayne to pane ther parell for 
ther carge \ l About the same time three of their plays came to 
the booksellers’ hands. These were Marlowe’s Edward the 
Second (1594, S. R. 6 July 1593), The Taming of A Shrew 

1 Dulwich MS, i. 14, in Henslowe Papers , 40. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 


129 


(1594, S. R. 2 May 1594), and The True Tragedy of Richard 
Duke of York (1595). Probably the play to which this last 
is a sequel, 1 Contention of York and Lancaster (1594, S. R. 
12 March 1594) was also theirs, although the name of the 
company is not on the title-page. It is on the title-page of 
Titus Andronicus (1594), and its position suggests that the 
play passed to them from Strange’s and from them before 
publication to Sussex’s. All these plays, with the exception 
of Edward //, seem to have been worked upon by Shakespeare, 
and probably they ultimately became part of the stock of 
the Chamberlain’s men. These men were playing Titus 
Andronicus and The Taming of The Shrew in June 1594, 
and that they also owned The Contention in its revised form 
of 2, 3 Henry VI is suggested both by its inclusion in the 
First Folio and by the reference in the Epilogue to Henry V 
not only to the loss of France but also to the bleeding of 
England 4 which oft our stage hath shown ’. 

I now enter a region of conjecture. It seems to me, on the 
whole, likely that the origin of Pembroke’s men is to be 
explained by the special conditions of the plague-years 
1592-3, and was due to a division for travelling purposes 
of the large London company formed by the amalgamation 
of Strange’s and the Admiral’s. Such a division had been fore- 
shadowed as likely to be necessary in the petition sent by 
Strange’s men to the Privy Council during the summer of 
1592 or earlier, and may actually have become necessary 
when, after all, the plague rendered travelling imperative. 
If this suggestion is well founded, it becomes not difficult to 
explain some of the transferences of acting rights in certain 
plays which seem to have taken place. Thus Strange’s may 
have handed over Titus Andronicus in its earlier form of 
Titus and Vespasian to Pembroke’s for the travels of 1593, 
and may also have handed over The Contention of York and 
Lancaster , if that was originally theirs, as is suggested by 
their production of 1 Henry VI , which belongs to the same 
closely related series. This opens up a more important line 
of speculation. It is usual to assume that one of the members 
of Strange’s from 1592 or earlier until its reconstitution as 
the Chamberlain’s in 1594 was William Shakespeare, and 
there is no reason to doubt his authorship at any rate of 
the Talbot scenes, which we know from Nashe to have been 
staged as part of 1 Henry VI in 1592. At the same time, 
the names of at least seventeen of Strange’s and the Admiral’s 
men in 1590-3 are otherwise known, and his is not one of 
them, and in particular his prominence amongst the Chamber- 
lain’s men from the very beginning renders it extremely 

2229-2 K 



130 THE COMPANIES 

unlikely that, if he had been a member of the company in 
1593, he would not have been mentioned in the Privy Council 
warrant of 6 May. Further, it seems to me impossible to 
resist the inference that the attribution to him of Titus 
Andronicus both by Francis Meres in 1598 and in the First 
Folio of 1623 can only be explained by his revision under 
that name of Titus and Vespasian , and that this was for the 
second production of the play as ‘ne’ for Henslowe by 
Sussex’s men on 24 January 1594. There is, therefore, really 
some basis for the suggestion made long ago by Halliwell- 
Phillipps that he is to be looked for during these years in 
Pembroke’s company until its collapse and then in Sussex’s, 
and that it was from this rather than directly from Strange’s 
that he went to the Chamberlain’s. 1 On the other hand, it 
may be that for a time he was not attached as an actor to 
any company at all. It is possible that he took advantage of 
the plague-interval to travel in Italy and only resumed the 
regular exercise of* his profession when the Chamberlain’s 
company was formed. In any event, it must have been he 
who revised The Contention as 2, 3 Henry VI , and the close 
stylistic relation of these plays to I Henry VI makes it 
probable that the work on all three belongs to about the same 
date. The limitations of conjecture on so intricate a question 
are obvious, but I can conceive the order of events as being 
somewhat as follows. Shakespeare’s first dramatic job, 
which earned him the ill will of Greene, was the writing or 
re-writing of 1 Henry V 1 for Strange’s, in the early spring of 
1592. During the winter of 1592-3 he revised The Contention 
for Pembroke’s and completed the series of his early histories 
with Richard ///, and, as I am inclined to suspect, also an 
Ur-Henry VIII . He also wrote The Jealous Comedy or 
Comedy of Errors for Strange’s. In the summer of 1593 
Sussex’s took over the plays of the bankrupt Pembroke’s, 
including the Shakespearian histories Titus and Vespasian 
and The Taming of A Shrew. Some at least of these Pem- 
broke’s had themselves derived in 1592 or 1593 from Strange’s. 
During the winter of 1593-4 Sussex’s played either Richard III 
or Henry V 111 as Buckingham , and also Titus and Vespasian 
revised for them by Shakespeare as Titus Andronicus . 
Alarmed at the further inhibition of plays in February, 
they allowed the revised Titus and unrevised texts of The 
Taming of A Shrew and The Contention to get into the hands 
of the booksellers. Whether Shakespeare had already revised 
A Shrew or did so later for the Chamberlain’s (q.v.) I am 


1 Outlines , i. 122 ; ii. 329. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 


131 

uncertain. Finally, by the transfer of their plays to the 
Chamberlain’s men, who at once revived A Shrew and Titus 
Andronicus , and by the incorporation of Strange’s men in 
the same company, the original stock of Strange’s plays, 
as distinct from the Admiral’s, came together in the same 
hands once more. On the assumption that Shakespeare 
never left Strange’s, it is difficult to explain either the fortunes 
of Titus Andronicus , or the absence from the lists of Strange’s 
plays in Henslowe’s diary of Richard III , which must have 
been written about 1592-4. The silence as regards Strange’s 
both of the Court records and of Henslowe’s diary during the 
winter of 1593-4 makes it unlikely that they were in London, 
and they would surely not produce a new play in the country. 

Nothing further is heard of a Pembroke’s company for 
three or four years. 1 But in 1597 one appeared in London 
about which we have rather full information, recently 
increased by Mr. Wallace’s discovery of a Court of Requests 
suit in which they were concerned. Towards the end of 
February in that year Robert Shaw, Richard Jones, Gabriel 
Spencer, William Bird alias Borne, and Thomas Downton, 
who describe themselves in a suit of the following November 
as Pembroke’s servants, together with others their * accom- 
plices and associates ’, entered into an agreement with Francis 
Langley to play for twelve months ending on 20 February 
1598 at the Swan. Each man gave a bond of £100, which was 
apparently to safeguard Langley against any failure by the 
company as a whole or of Robert Shaw or a sufficient substi- 
tute in particular to perform during this period, or against 
any performance elsewhere, otherwise than 4 in private 
places ’, within five miles of London. Langley found £300 
for apparel and, as he claimed, making ready of the play- 
house, and was to receive a moiety of the takings of the 
galleries and to be repaid for the apparel out of the other 
moiety. Of the men concerned, Jones and Downton had 
been Admiral’s men during 1594-7, and their transference 
coincides with a three weeks’ break in the performances of 
the Admiral’s at the Rose from 12 February onwards. 
Mr. Wallace ( E . 5 . xliii. 357) says that Shaw, Spencer, and 
Bird were also of the Admiral’s, but of this there is no evidence. 
If Pembroke’s had any continued life during 1594-7, they 
may have shared it. But this seems improbable, and on the 
whole I am inclined to think that they came from the Chamber- 
lain’s (q.v.). Plays were given at the Swan for some months, 
and Langley took £100 from the galleries, and £100 more for 

1 Fleay, 136, ' Pembroke's men continued to act at the Curtain from 
1 589 to 1 597 ' is guess-work. 


K 2 



132 


THE COMPANIES 


apparel. Then came an inhibition of plays near London 
on 28 July 1597, caused by the production of The Isle of Dogs, 
as a result of which one of the authors, Nashe, fled, and the 
other, Jonson, together with Shaw and Spencer, was com* 
mitted to the Marshalsea. The definite evidence that Shaw 
and Spencer were Pembroke’s men at the Swan, now produced 
by Mr. Wallace, confirms my conjecture (M. L . R. iv. 411, 
511) that The Isle of Dogs was an adventure of that house 
and not, as has sometimes been thought, of the Rose. Either 
in anticipation of a prolonged closing of the house or for some 
other reason, the company now desired to shake off their 
relations with Langley. Early in August Jones returned to 
Henslowe and made a new covenant with him. His example 
was followed by Shaw, Spencer, and Bird, and early in 
October by Downton. Their prescience was justified, for 
when in the course of October the chief offenders were 
released, and the inhibition, which was nominally terminable 
on 1 November, was in practice relaxed, it proved that, while 
Henslowe was able to get a new licence for the Rose, Langley 
could get none for the Swan. He urged them to try their 
fortunes without a licence, as others of their company were 
willing to do, but they not unnaturally refused, and Henslowe 
(i. 54) records, ‘ The xj of October begane my lord Admerals 
and my lord of Penbrockes men to playe at my howsse 
1597 *. He describes the company under the double name again 
on 21 and 23 October and 5 November, but on 1 December 
and thereafter as the Lord Admiral’s (i. 68-70). A study of 
the Admiral’s repertory for 1597-8 suggests that some or 
all of the plays Black Joan , Iiardicanute , Bourbon , Sturg - 
flattery , Branholt, Friar Spendleton , Alice Pierce , and Dido 
and Aeneas may have been brought in by Pembroke’s men. 

The five seceders had not heard the last of Langley. He 
sued them at common law on the bonds given not to play in 
a rival house. They successfully applied to have the case 
transferred to the Court of Requests, and in the course of 
the pleadings maintained, firstly, that they were prevented 
from playing at the Swan by the restraint and Langley’s 
failure to get a licence ; secondly, that Langley had orally 
assented to their transfer to Henslowe ; thirdly, that they 
could not appear at the Swan as a company, since Langley 
had 4 procured from them ’ two (or, as they afterwards said, 
three) of their associates, to whom he had returned their 
obligations ; and fourthly, that Langley had suffered no 
damage, since other men were occupying his house. They 
also complained that Langley had never handed over the 
apparel for which they had recouped him out of their gallery 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 


133 


takings. The negotiations with Langley which they describe 
seem to have taken place during October. About the cove- 
nants entered into with Henslowe as far back as the beginning 
of August they said nothing, and whether either Langley 
or the court ever found out about these, and what the ultimate 
decision of the court on the main issue was, must remain 
uncertain. But certain loans entered in Henslowe's diary 
suggest that in March 1598 Langley was in a position to arrest 
Bird, and that in September of the same year some kind of 
agreement was arrived at, under which Langley received 
£35, as well as £19 or more for a rich cloak (i. 63, 72, 73, 95, 
96). It is possible that a 4 sewt agenste Thomas Poope * of 
the Chamberlain’s, for which Henslowe (i. 72) made a personal 
advance of 105. to William Bird on 30 August 1598, may also 
have been connected with the shiftings of companies in 1597. 

The names of the two or three members of the company 
to whom Langley gave back their bonds are not stated in 
the pleadings. Perhaps one was Jonson, and the other two 
might conceivably have been Humphrey and Anthony Jeffes, 
since the name of 4 Humfrey ’ stands with that of 4 Gabriel 1 
in stage- directions to 3 Henry VI , and Henslowe’s list of the 
reconstituted Admiral’s company as it stood in October 3:597- 
January 1598 contains 4 the ij Geffes ’, who are not traceable 
in the 1594-7 company and may well have come in with the 
five Pembroke’s men. Langley tells us that certain 4 fellows * 
of his opponents had taken a more reasonable line than theirs 
and returned to the Swan. How long these men remained 
there we do not know, but probably they secured Pembroke’s 
patronage after the five had been definitely merged in the 
Admiral’s, for by the end of 1597 there was clearly a distinct 
Pembroke’s company again. Provincial records yield the 
name, not only at Bath in 1596-7 and at Bristol in September 
3:597, which may point to a tour of the undivided Swan 
company during the period of restraint, but also at Bath 
in 1598-9, at Bristol in July 1598, at Leicester between 
October and December, at Dover on 7 October, at Coventry 
on 12 December, and at Bewdley on 22 December. They 
were at Norwich in April 1599, at Coventry on 4 July, and at 
Bristol in July. They were at York on 21 January 1600, Bristol 
in April, Marlborough in May, and Leicester before Michael- 
mas. In October they were in relationship with Henslowe, 
who notes 4 my Lordes of Penbrockes men begane to playe 
at the Rosse ’, and records performances of Like Unto Like 
and Roderick on 28 and 29 October respectively. 1 The former 


1 Henslowe, i. 131 ; cf. ch. xxiii, s.v. Fulwell. 



134 


THE COMPANIES 


brought him ns. 6 d. and the latter 5.9., and there apparently 
the experiment ended, and with it, so far as is known, the 
career of Pembroke’s men. It is just possible that they were 
merged in Worcester’s company, which arose shortly after- 
wards. Mr. Fleay expands this possibility into a definite 
theory that Kempe, Beeston, Duke, and Pallant left the 
Chamberlain’s men for Pembroke’s in 1599, an d ultimately 
passed from these to Worcester’s. This is improbable as 
regards Kempe, and unproved as regards the rest. 1 


xix. THE LORD ADMIRAL'S (LORD HOWARD’S, EARL OF 
NOTTINGHAM’S), PRINCE HENRY’S, AND ELECTOR 
PALATINE’S MEN 

Charles Howard, s. of William, 1st Baron Howard of Effingham, 
g.s. of Thomas, 2nd Duke of Norfolk ; nat. 1536 ; m. (1) Catherine 
Carey, d. of Henry Lord Hunsdon, Lady of the Privy Chamber, (2) 
Margaret Stuart, d. of James Earl of Murray, c. 1604 ; succ. as 2nd 
Baron, 29 Jan. 1573; Deputy Lord Chamberlain, 1574-5; Vice- 
Admiral, Feb. 1582; Lord Chamberlain, c. Dec. 1583; Lord High 
Admiral, 8 July 1585-1619 ; Earl of Nottingham, 22 Oct. 1596 ; Lord 
Steward, 1597 ; ob. 14 Dec. 1624. 

Henry Frederick, s. of James VI of Scotland and I of England ; 
nat . 19 Feb. 1594 ; cr. Duke of Rothesay, 30 Aug. 1594 ; succ. as 
Duke of Cornwall, 24 Mar. 1603 ; cr. Earl of Chester and Prince of 
Wales, 4 June 1610 ; ob. 6 Nov. 1612. 

Frederick, s. of Frederick IV, Count Palatine of the Rhine ; nat. 
19 Aug. 1596 ; succ. as Frederick V, 1610 ; m. Princess Elizabeth of 
England, 14 Feb. 1613 ; elected King of Bohemia, 1619 ; ob. 1632. 

[ Bibliographical Note . — The material preserved amongst the papers of 
Philip Henslowe and Edward Alleyn at Dulwich has been fully collected 
and studied by W. W. Greg in Henslowe' s Diary (1904-8) and Henslowe 
Papers (1907), which replace the earlier publications of Malone, Collier, 
and others from the same source. I have added a little from Professor 
Wallace’s researches and elsewhere, and have attempted to give my own 
reading of the evidence, which differs in a few minor points from Dr. Greg’s.] 

It was perhaps his employment as deputy to the Earl of 
Sussex in the office of Lord Chamberlain which led Lord 
Howard to encourage players. A company, under the name 
of Lord Howard’s men, appeared at Court for the first time 
at the Christmas of 1576-7. On 27 December they played 
Tooley , and on 17 February The Solitary Knight . 2 They came 
again for the last time in the following winter, and performed 

1 Cf. infra (Chamberlain’s). Shank (cf. ch. xv) was once in Pembroke's. 

2 The Council Register assigns this performance to the Chamberlain’s ; 
cf. App. B. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 


135 


on 5 January 1578. They were also at Kirtling on 3 December 
1577, Saffron Walden in 1577-8, Ipswich on 24 October 1577, 
in 1578-9, and perhaps on 8 October 1581, Bristol, where they 
gave The Queen of Ethiopia , between 31 August and 6 Sep- 
tember 1578, Nottingham on 19 December 1578, and Bath 
and Coventry in 1578-9. 

Howard again had players at Court, after he became Admiral 
in 1585. 'The first record of them is at Dover in June 1585. 
Later in the year they were playing in conjunction with the 
Lord Chamberlain’s (Lord Hunsdon’s). 4 The Lorde Cham- 
berlens and the Lord Admirall’s players ’ were rewarded at 
Leicester in October-December 1585, and 4 the servants of 
the lo: admirall and the lo: Chamberlaine ’ for a play at Court 
on 6 January 1586. 1 During the same Christmas, however, 
the Admiral’s played alone on 27 December 1585, and as 
Hunsdon’s survived in the provinces, the two organizations 
may have been amalgamated for one performance only. The 
Admiral’s were at Coventry, Faversham, Ipswich, and Leicester 
in 1585-6. They were reported to Walsingham amongst other 
London companies on 25 January 1587 (App. D, No. lxxviii), 
although they did not appear at Court during this winter. 
In 1586-7 they were at Cambridge, Coventry, Bath, York, 
Norwich, Ipswich, Exeter, Southampton, and Leicester. By 
November they were back in London, and on the 16th an 
accident at their theatre is thus related by Philip Gawdy 
to his father : 2 

* Yow shall vnderstande of some accydentall newes heare in this 
towne thoughe my self no wyttnesse thereof, yet I may be bold to 
veryfye it for an assured troth. My L. Admyrall his men and players 
having a devyse in ther playe to tye one of their fellowes to a poste 
and so to shoote him to deathe, having borrowed their callyvers one 
of the players handes swerved his peece being charged with bullett 
missed the fellowe he aymed at and killed a chyld, and a woman great 
with chyld forthwith, and hurt an other man in the head very soore. 
How they will answere it I do not study vnlesse their profession were 
better, but in chrystyanity I am very sorry for the chaunce but God 
his iudgementes ar not to be searched nor enquired of at mannes 
handes. And yet I fynde by this an old proverbe veryfyed ther never 
comes more hurte than commes of fooling.’ 

Possibly the company went into retirement as a result of 
this disaster ; at any rate nothing more is heard of them 

1 Fleay, Sh. 286, supposed Howard to be both Admiral and Chamberlain 
at this date, but this view was refuted by Halliwell-Phillipps in the 
Athenaeum for 24 April 1886, and resigned by Fleay, 31 ; cf. Greg, ii. 81. 

2 I. H. Jeayes, Letters of Philip Gawdy (Roxburghe Club), 23. 



136 THE COMPANIES 

until the Christmas of 1588-9. They then came to Court, 
and were rewarded for two interludes and * for showinge other 
feates of activitye and tumblinge ’ on 29 December 1588 and 
11 February 1589. 1 On 6 November 1589 they were playing 
in the City, and were suppressed by the Lord Mayor, because 
Tilney, the Master of the Revels, misliked their plays. Prob- 
ably they had been concerning themselves with the Mar- 
prelate controversy. Strange’s men, who were * evidently 
performing as a separate company, shared their fate. It 
may have been this misadventure which led the Admiral’s 
to seek house-room with James Burbadge at the Theatre 
(q.v.), where some evidence by John Alleyn, who, with James 
Tunstall, was of their number, locates them in November 1590 
and May 1591. A relic of this period may be presumed to 
exist in the ‘ plot ’ of Dead Man's Fortune , preserved with 
other plots belonging to the company at Dulwich, in which 
Burbadge, doubtless Richard Burbadge, then still a boy, 
appeared. Certainly there is nothing to connect Burbadge 
with the company at any other date. Other actors in the 
piece were one Darlowe, 4 b[oy ?] Samme ’, and Robert Lee, 
later of Anne’s men. The Admiral’s again showed 1 feats 
of activitie ’ at Court on 28 December 1589, and a play on 
3 March 1590. In 1589-90 they were at Coventry, Ipswich, 
Maidstone, Marlborough, Winchester, and Gloucester, and in 
1590-1 at Winchester and Gloucester. Marlowe’s Tamburlaine 
was published in 1590 as 4 shewed upon stages in the City 
of London ’ by the Admiral’s men. The Court records 
for the following winter present what looks at first sight 
like a curious discrepancy. The accounts of the Treasurer 
of the Chamber include payments for plays and activities 
on 27 December 1590 and 16 February 1591 to Lord Strange’s 
men. The corresponding warrants, however, were made out, 
according to the Privy Council Register, for the Admiral’s. 
Probably there is no error here, and the entries are evidence 
of an amalgamation between the two companies, which 
possibly dated from as far back as the winter of 1589, and 
which seems to have endured until the summer of 1594. 
Technically, it would seem that it was the Admiral’s who 
were merged in Strange’s men. It is the latter and not the 
former who generally appear in official documents during 
this period. I have therefore dealt with its details for both 
companies, with the question of the precise date of the 
amalgamation, and with the possibility that the plot of The 
Seven Deadly Sins and its list of actors also belong to a Theatre 
performance of about 1590, in my account of Strange’s men, 

1 S topes, Hunnis , 322, names payees in error. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 


*37 


and need only remark here that the name of the Admiral’s 
does not altogether fall into disuse, especially in provincial 
records, and that the leading actor, Edward Alleyn, in 
particular, is shown by an official document to have retained 
his personal status as an Admiral’s servant. 

It is a question of some interest how early Alleyn’s connexion 
with the Admiral’s may be supposed to have begun. Was he, 
for example, the original Tamburlaine of 1587, and was it as 
an Admiral’s man that Nashe referred to him, if it was he 
to whom Nashe referred, as the Roscius of the contemporary 
players in his Menaphon epistle of 1589 ? He is known to 
have been a member of Worcester’s company in 1583. 
Dr. Greg is disposed to think that he remained with them 
until the death of the third Earl of Worcester on 22 February 
1589, and then joined the Admiral’s. 1 It is, however, to be 
observed that there is no trace of Worcester’s men between 
1584 and 1590, and that it is in 1585 that the Admiral’s men 
begin to appear at Court. On the whole, it commends itself 
to me as the more probable conjecture that the first Earl of 
Worcester’s company passed into Howard’s service, when he 
became Admiral in 1585, and that the players of the fourth 
Earl of Worcester between 1590 and 1596 were distinct from 
those of his father. The issue concerns others besides Edward 
Alleyn himself. Amongst the members of Worcester’s com- 
pany in 1583 were Robert Browne, James Tunstall, and 
Richard Jones ; and all three of these are found concerned 
with Alleyn in matters of theatrical business during 
1589-91. The most important document is a deed of sale 
by 4 Richarde Jones of London yoman ’ to 4 Edwarde Allen 
of London gent ’ for £37 105. of 4 all and singuler suche 
share parte and porcion of playinge apparrelles, playe 
bookes, instrumentes, and other comodities whatsoeuer 
belonginge to the same, as I the said Richarde Jones nowe 
haue or of right ought to haue joyntlye with the same Edwarde 
Allen, John Allen citizen and inholder of London and Roberte 
Browne yoman ’. 2 This is dated 3 January 1589. There 
are also three deeds of sale to Edward and John Alleyn of 
theatrical apparel between 1589 and 1591, and to two of 
these James Tunstall was a witness. 3 On Dr. Greg’s theory 
as to the date at which Alleyn took service with the Lord 
Admiral, the organization in whose properties Richard Jones 
had an interest would naturally be Worcester’s men ; on 
mine it would be the Admiral’s, and it would follow that 
Jones and Browne, as well as Alleyn, had joined that company. 

1 Henslowe, ii. 83. 2 Henslowe Papers, 31. 

3 Alleyn Papers , 11, 12 ; cf. Henslowe Papers, 32. 



138 THE COMPANIES 

We have seen that James Tunstall had done so by 1590-1. 
John Alleyn was an elder brother of Edward. There is nothing 
to connect him with Worcester’s men. He was a servant of 
Lord Sheffield in November 1580 and of the Lord Admiral in 
1589. 1 A letter of one Elizabeth Socklen to Edward Alleyn 
refers to a time ‘when your brother, my lovinge cozen John 
Allen, dwelt with my very good lord, Charles Heawarde ’, 
and this rather suggests that his service was in some household 
capacity, and not merely as player. 2 If so, it may have been 
through him that Edward Alleyn and his fellows became 
Admiral’s men. The first period of their activity seems to 
have lasted from 1585 to 1589, and it was no doubt Edward 
Alleyn’s genius, and perhaps also his business capacity, 
which enabled them to offer a serious rivalry to the Queen’s 
company. I suspect that in 1589 or 1590 they were practically 
dissolved, and this view is confirmed by the fact that their 
most important play was allowed to get to the hands of the 
printers. Alleyn, with the help of his brother, bought up 
the' properties, and allied himself with Lord Strange’s men, 
and so far as the Admiral’s continued to exist at all for the 
next few years, it was almost entirely in and through him 
that it did so. After a financial quarrel with James Burbadge 
in May 1591, the combined companies moved to the Rose. 
There is nothing to show whether the Alleyns bought up 
Robert Browne’s interest as well as that of Richard Jones. 
At any rate Browne began in 1590 that series of continental 
tours which occupied most of the rest of his career (cf. ch. xiv). 
Jones joined him in one of these adventures in 1592, and it 
is possible that John Bradstreet and Thomas Sackville, who 
went with them, were also old Admiral’s men. But I do not 
think that it is accurate to regard this company, as Dr. Greg 
seems to be inclined to do, as being itself under the Admiral’s 
patronage. It is true that they obtained a passport from 
him, but this was probably given rather in his capacity as 
warden of the seas than in that of their lord. His name is 
not mentioned in any of the foreign records of their pere- 
grinations. It is not possible to say which, other than 
Alleyn, of the members of the 1592-3 Strange’s and Admiral’s 
company, whose names have been preserved, came from each 
of the two contributing sources. They do not include either 
John Alleyn or James Tunstall, or Edward Browne, a Wor- 
cester’s man of 1583, who reappears with Tunstall among 
the Admiral’s after 1594. Nor is it possible to say how 
far the repertory of Strange’s men, as disclosed by the 


1 Alleyn Papers, i, 5. 


2 Ibid. 54. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 


*39 


I 59 2 ~3 entries in Henslowe’s diary, included plays drawn 
from the Admiral’s stock. This may have been the case 
with The Battle of Alcazar , which was printed as an Admiral’s 
play in 1594, and with Orlando Furioso, which contem- 
porary gossip represents Greene as selling first to the 
Queen’s and then to the Admiral’s. And it may have been 
the case with 1 Tamar Cham, which passed to the later 
Admiral’s. Neither Tamburlaine nor The Wounds of Civil 
War, printed like The Battle of Alcazar as an Admiral’s play 
in 1594, is recorded to have been played by Strange’s. 

When the companies settled down again to a London life 
after the conclusion of the long plague in 1594, the Admiral’s 
men reconstituted themselves as an independent company 
with Alleyn at its head, leaving the greater number of their 
recent comrades of the road to pass, as the Lord Chamberlain’s 
men, under the patronage of Lord Hunsdon. The personal 
alliance between Alleyn and Henslowe, whose step-daughter, 
Joan Woodward, he had married on 22 October 1592, led 
to the institution of close business relations between the 
company and the pawnbroker, and the record of these in 
the famous diary enables us to follow with a singular minute- 
ness the almost daily fortunes of the Admiral’s men during 
the course of some nine or ten years, broken into two periods 
by a reconstruction of the company in 1597 and finally closing 
about the time of their conversion into Prince Henry’s men 
in 1604. The precise nature of the position occupied by 
Henslowe has been carefully investigated by Dr. Greg, 1 and 
has already been briefly considered in these pages (ch. xi). 
He was not a member of the company, but its landlord, and, 
probably to an increasing extent, its financier. In the former 
capacity he received, after every day’s performance, a 
fluctuating sum, which seems to have represented half the 
amount received for admission to the galleries of the house ; 
the other half, with the payments for entrance to the standing 
room in the yard, being divided amongst such of the players 
as had a share in the profits. Out of this, of course, they had 
to meet all expenditure other than by way of rent, such as 
the wages of hired men, payments for apparel and play- 
books, fees to the Master of the Revels for the licensing of 
plays, and the like. In practice it became convenient for 
Henslowe, who was a capitalist, while many of the players 
lived from hand to mouth, to advance sums to meet such 
expenditure as it fell due, and to recoup himself from time 
to time out of the company’s profits. It seems likely that, 


1 Henslowe, ii. 127. 



t 4 o THE COMPANIES 

when the system was in full working, the moiety of the 
gallery money, which remained after the deduction of the 
rent, was assigned for the purpose of these repayments. 
During the period 1597-1604 Henslowe’s entries in his diary 
are mainly in the nature of a running account of these advances 
and of the receipts set off against them ; for 1594-7 similar 
entries occur irregularly, but the principal record is a daily 
list, such as Henslowe had already kept during his shorter 
associations with Strange’s, the Queen’s, and Sussex’s 
companies in the course of 1592-4, of each performance 
given,. with the name of the play and of the amount accruing 
to Henslowe himself in the form of rent. This list renders 
possible a very interesting analysis, both of the repertory 
of the company and of some at least of the financial conditions 
of their enterprise. 

The entries start with the heading, 4 In the name of God Amen 
begininge the 14 of Maye 1594 by my lord Admeralls men ’. 
After three days, during which The Jew of Malta , Cutlack } 
and The Ranger's Comedy , all of which are found in the later 
repertory of the company, were given, they stop abruptly. 1 
To about the same date may be assigned a fragmentary 
account, headed 4 Layd owt for my Lorde Admeralle seruantes 
as ffoloweth 1594 ’, and recording expenditure Tor coming 
and going to Court and to Somerset House, the residence of 
the Lord Chamberlain, ‘ for mackinge of our leater twise ’, 
and 4 for drinckinge with the jentellmen ’, all evidently 
concerned with the initial business of forming and licensing 
the company. 2 On 5 June the account of performances is 
resumed with a fresh heading, 4 In the name of God Amen 
begininge at Newington my Lord Admeralle men and my 
Lorde Chamberlen men as ffolowethe 1594 \ 3 Henslowe’s 
takings only averaged 9 s. for the first ten days, probably 
on account of the distance of Newington Butts from London. 4 
The takings for the three days in May averaged 415., and it 
may perhaps be inferred that these May performances were 
at the Rose, and that some fear of renewed plague on the 
part of the authorities led to their being relegated to a safer 
quarter. The tentative character of these early performances 
is shown by the fact that the Admiral’s were still sharing 
a theatre with the Chamberlain’s. To the repertory of the 
latter it seems safe to assign three of the seven plays produced, 
Titus Andronicus f Hamlet , and The Taming of A Shrew , and 
probably also a fourth, Hester and Ahasuerus , as there is no 
later sign of this amongst the Admiral’s plays. This leaves 

1 Henslowe, i. 17. 2 Ibid. 198. 3 Ibid. 17. 

4 Cf. the petitions assigned to 1592 (App. D, No. xcii). 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 


141 

three others to be regarded as the Admiral's contribution, 
The Jew of Malta and Cutlack } which they had played in 
May and were often to play again, and Belin Dun , to which 
are attached the letters 1 ne *, Henslowe’s normal indication 
of a new play. 1 There is nothing in the order in which the 
plays were taken to indicate an alternation of the two com- 
panies, and it is likely enough that neither was yet fully 
constituted, and that they actually joined forces in the same 
performances. 

After the tenth play on 15 June, Henslowe drew a line 
across the page, and although the entries continue without 
any indication of a change in the conditions under which 
the performances were given, I can only concur in the con- 
jecture of Mr. Fleay and Dr. Greg that at this point the 
Admiral’s plays were transferred to the Rose, and the combina- 
tion with the Chamberlain’s ceased. 2 A sudden rise in the 
amount of Henslowe’s takings, and the absence from the rest 
of the list of the four plays named above and of any other 
attributable to the Chamberlain’s repertory, are alike strongly 
in favour of this view, which may be treated as a practical 
certainty. Henceforward the fortunes of the company seem 
to have followed a smooth course for the space of three years. 
Their proceedings may be briefly summed up as follows. 
They played for thirty-nine consecutive weeks from 15 June 

1594 to 14 March 1595, appearing at Court during this season 
on 28 December, 1 January, and 6 January. After a break 
of thirty-seven days during Lent, opportunity of which was 
taken to repair the Rose, they played again for ten weeks 
from Easter Monday, 21 April, to 26 June 1595. Then 
came a vacation of fifty-nine days, with visits to Bath 
and Maidstone. They began again in London on 25 August 

1595 and played for twenty-seven weeks to 28 February 
1596, giving Court performances on 1 January, 4 January, 
and 22 and 24 February. This took them to the end of the first 
week in Lent. After forty- three days’ interval, they played for 
fifteen weeks, from Easter Monday, 12 April, to 23 July 1596. 
Their summer vacation lasted for ninety-five days, and 
they are noted during 1595-6 at Coventry, Bath, Gloucester, 
and Dunwich. In the autumn they started playing on 
27 October, but the receipts were low, and if the record is 
complete, they suspended performances between 15 and 
25 November, and then went on to 12 February 1597, making 
up a season of about fourteen weeks in all. They do not seem 
to have played at Court at all this winter. This year they 

1 They may represent n[ew] e[nterlude], or merely ne[w]. 

2 Fleay, 140 ; Henslowe, ii. 84. 



142 


THE COMPANIES 


rather disregarded Lent, stopping for eighteen * days only, 
during a reconstruction of the company, and then playing 
three days a week until Easter, and then regularly until the 
end of July, in all twenty-one weeks. To certain irregularities 
at the close of this season it will be necessary to refer later. 
During the three years, then, there were three winter and three 
summer seasons of London playing, covering about a hundred 
and twenty-six weeks. Except in Lent or at the beginning 
or end of a season, or occasionally, probably for climatic 
reasons, at other times, especially in December, plays were 
given upon every week-day. It emerges from Dr. Greg’s 
re-ordering of Henslowe’s very inaccurate dates that there 
were no plays on Sundays. 1 On the other hand, a summons 
to play at Court in the evening did not necessarily entail 
a blank day in the afternoon. The total number of perform- 
ances during the three years was seven hundred and twenty- 
eight. It is reasonable to assume that Henslowe’s takings 
varied roughly with those of the company, although the reserve 
must be made that different plays might prove the most 
attractive to the galleries and to the yard respectively. The 
amounts entered range from a minimum of 3 s. to a maximum 
of 735. Dr. Greg calculates the average over 4 certain typical 
periods of 1595 ’ as 305. ; 2 during the first half of 1597 it 
was 245. The fluctuations are determined, partly by the 
popularity or novelty of the plays presented, partly by the 
season of the year, and doubtless the weather and the com- 
petition of other amusements. There were generally some high 
receipts during Christmas, Easter, and Whitsun weeks. 
Unfortunately there is no means of estimating the proportion 
which Henslowe’s share bore to that which fell for division 
among the players. Some light is thrown upon the expenses 
by the subsidiary accounts of advances, which Henslowe 
began to keep from time to time in 1596. In May of that year 
he lent Alleyn 4 for the company ’ a total amount of £39 
in several instalments, and recovered it by small sums of 
£1 to £3 a time during the next three months. 3 A longer 
account extending from October 1596 to March 1597 reaches, 
with the aid of a miscalculation, a total of £52. Of this £ 22 
was repaid during the same period, chiefly by deductions 
from the profits of first nights, and an acknowledgement 
given for the balance of £30.* The advances were made 
through various members of the company, and the purposes 
specified include apparel for three new plays, travelling 
expenses, and fees to playwrights. A third account, if I am 

1 Henslowe, ii. 324. 2 Ibid. ii. 133. 

3 Ibid. i. 126. 4 Ibid. i. 44. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 143 

right in the interpretation of some very disputable figures, 
shows an expenditure at the average rate of 31$. a day during 
the six months from 24 January to 28 July 1597, of which, 
however, nearly half was in fact incurred during the first 
twenty-four days of the period. In this case only the sums 
and not the purposes for which they were advanced are 
entered. 1 

During the three years the Admiral’s men produced new 
plays to the total number of fifty-five, and at the average 
rate of one a fortnight. The productions were not at regular 
intervals, and often followed each other in successive weeks. 
There is, however, no example of two new productions in 
the same week. 2 These are the names and dates of the new 
plays : 

j Selin Dun (10 June 1594). 

Galiaso (28 June 1594). 

Philipo and Hippolito (9 July 1594). 

2 Godfrey of Bulloigne (19 July 1594). 

The Merchant of Emden (30 July 1594). 

Tasso's Melancholy (13 Aug. 1594). 

The Venetian Comedy (27 Aug. 1594). 

Palamon and Arcite (18 Sept. 1594). 

The Love of an English Lady (26 Sept. 1594). 

A Knack to Know an Honest Man (23 Oct. 1594). 

1 Caesar and Pompey (8 Nov. 1594). 

Diocletian (16 Nov. 1594). 

The Wise Man of West Chester (3 Dec. 1594). 

The Set at Maw (15 Dec. 1594). 

The French Comedy (11 Feb. 1595). 

The Mack (21 Feb. 1595). 

Olympo (5 Mar. 1595). 3 

1 Hercules (7 May 1595). 

1 Henslowe, i. 51 ; cf. Dr. Greg’s explanation in ii. 129 and my criticism 
in M. L. R. iv. 409. Wallace (E. S. xliii. 361) has a third explanation, 
that the figures represent the sharers’ takings. But (a) these would not 
all pass through Henslowe’s hands, (6) the amounts are often less than 
half the galleries, and (c) the columns are blank for some days of playing. 

a I include Belin Dun, produced just before the separation of the Admiral's 
and the Chamberlain’s, in the fifty-five ; but I do not follow Dr. Greg in 
taking the sign * j ’, which Henslowe attaches to Tamburlaine (30 Aug. 
1594) and Long Meg of Westminster (14 Feb. 1595) as equivalent to * ne '. 
Were it so, these would furnish two, and the only two, examples of 
a second new production in a single week. Probably * j ' indicates in 
both instances the First Part of a two-part play. This view is confirmed 
by Henslowe’s note on 10 March 1 595, * 17 p[laies] frome hence lycensed ' ; 
cf. my criticism in M. L . R. iv. 408. 

8 Variously entered as ‘ olimpo ', 4 seleo & olempo ‘ olempeo & hen- 
genyo \ &c. ; but apparently only one play is meant. 



144 THE COMPANIES 

2 Hercules (23 May 1595). 

1 The Seven Days of the Week (3 June 1595). 

2 Caesar and Pontpey (18 June 1595). 

Longshanks (29 Aug. 1595). 

Crack me this Nut (5 Sept. 1595). 

The New World's Tragedy (17 Sept. 1595). 

The Disguises (2 Oct. 1595). 

The Wonder of a Woman (16 Oct. 1595). 

Barnardo and Fiammetta (30 Oct. 1595). 

A Toy to Please Chaste Ladies (14 Nov. 1595). 

Henry V (28 Nov. 1595). 

Chinon of England (3 Jan. 1596). 

Pythagoras (16 Jan. 1596). 

2 The Seven Days of the Week (23 Jan. 1596). 

The Blind Beggar of Alexandria (12 Feb. 1596). 

Julian the Apostate (29 Apr. 1596). 

1 Tamar Cham (7 May 1596). 

Phocas (20 May 1596). 

2 Tamar Cham (11 June 1596). 

Troy (25 June 1596). 

The Paradox (1 July 1596). 

The Tinker of Totnes (23 July 1596). 

Vortigern , Valteger } or Hengist (4 Dec. 1596). 

Stukeley (10 Dec. 1596). 

Nebuchadnezzar (18 Dec. 1596). 

That Will Be Shall Be (30 Dec. 1596). 

Jeronimo (7 Jan. 1597). 

Alexander and Lodowick (14 Jan. 1597). 1 
Woman Hard to Please (27 Jan. 1597). 

Guido (21 Mar. 1597). 

Five Plays in One (7 Apr. 1597). 

A French Comedy (18 Apr. 1597). 

Uther Pendragon (29 Apr. 1597). 

The Comedy of Humours (11 May 1597). 

The Life and Death of Henry 1 (26 May 1597). 

Frederick and Basilea (3 June 1597). 

The Life and Death of Martin Swart (30 June 1597). 

Oblivion has overtaken the great majority of these plays. 
Longshanks is possibly Peele’s Edward /, and Jeronimo 
certainly Kyd’s Spanish Tragedy. The title of The Wise 
Man of West Chester agrees with the subject of Munday’s 
John a Kent and John a Cumber , the manuscript of which 
is dated December 1595. One would be more willing to 

1 Alexander and Lodowick is actually entered for a second time as * ne ' 
on u Feb. 1597. but I have assumed this to be a mistake. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 


145 


identify Henry V with The Famous Victories , if the latter 
had not been printed in 1598 with the name of the Queen’s 
men on its title-page. A Knack to Know an Honest Man was 
printed, as acted * about the Citie of London but without 
any company name, in 1596 (S. R. 26 November 1595). 
Stukeley was also printed without a name, as The Famous 
History of the Life and Death of Captain Thomas Stukeley , 
in 1605 (S. R. 11 August 1600). 1 Tamar Cham and Frederick 
and Basilea are extant in * plots * alone, and Belin Dun f or 
Bellendon , as Henslowe writes it, was entered in the Stationers’ 
Register on 24 November 1595 as The true tragicall historie 
of Kinge Rufus the first with the life and deathe of Belyn Dun 
the first thief that ever was hanged in England , but is not 
known to be extant. The list also contains two of the early 
works of George Chapman, The Blind Beggar of Alexandria 
(1598, Admiral’s, S. R. 15 August 1598), and The Comedy of 
Humours , which can be safely identified with A Humorous 
Day's Mirth (1599, Admiral’s). Ingenious attempts , have 
been made to trace in some of the remaining titles other 
plays by Chapman, or by Heywood, Dekker, and the like, or 
presumed early drafts of these, or the English originals of 
plays or titles preserved in German versions ; but in most 
cases the material available is so scanty as to render the game 
a hazardous one. 1 It appears, however, from Henslowe’s 
notes of advances during 1596-7 that payment was made to 
Heywood for a book, from which it may be inferred that his 
activity as a dramatist for the company had already began. 
Payments to 4 marcum ’ and 4 Mr. porter * perhaps indicate 
the same of Gervase Markham and Henry Porter. 2 * 

It is evident that some of the plays marked 4 ne ’ by 
Henslowe cannot have been new in the fullest sense. This 
applies to Jeronimo , which had been played by Strange’s 

1 It has been chiefly played by Fleay and Dr. Greg. The relations 
suggested are between 1 Caesar and Pompey and Chapman's play of the 
same name. Disguises and Chapman’s May-day , Godfrey of Bulloigne and 
Heywood’s Four Prentices of London, Olympo, 1, 2 Hercules, and Troy 
and Heywood’s Golden, Silver, Brazen, and Iron Ages respectively. Five 
Plays in One and some of Heywood’s Dialogues and Dramas, The Wonder 
of a Woman and a supposed early version by Heywood of W. Rowley’s 
A New Wonder, or, A Woman Never Vexed, The Venetian Comedy and 
both the German Josephus Jude von Venedig and Dekker 's lost Jew of 
Venice, Diocletian and Dekker’s The Virgin Martyr, A Set at Maw and 
Dekker ’s Match Me in London , The Mack and Dekker's The Wonder of 
a Kingdom, Vortigern and Middleton’s The Mayor of Quinborough, Uther 
Pendragon and W. Rowley’s Birth of Merlin, Philipo and Hippoltto and 
both Massinger’s lost Philenzo and Hypollita and the German Julio und 
Hyppolita. Full details will be found in Henslowe, ii. 165 sqq. 

2 Henslowe, i. 44, 128. 

2229*2 L 



THE COMPANIES 


146 


men as an old play during 1592-3, and to 2 Tamar Cham , 
which had been produced by the same company on 28 April 
1592, and on that occasion also marked 4 ne * by Henslowe. 
It applies also to Longshanks and Henry V , if these are really 
the same as Edward 1 and The Famous Victories . And it 
may, of course, apply also in other cases, which cannot now 
be distinguished. Two explanations are possible. One is 
that plays were treated as new, for the purpose of Henslowe’s 
entries, which were only new to the repertory of the particular 
company concerned, having been purchased by them or by 
Henslowe from the stock of some other company. There is, 
however, no indication that Henslowe received any special 
financial advantage from the production of a new play, such 
as would give point to such an arrangement. The other, 
and perhaps the most plausible, is that an old play was 
marked 4 ne * if it had undergone any substantial process of 
revision before revival. But it must be admitted that the 
problem set is one that we have hardly the means to solve. 

In addition to their new and revised plays, the Admiral’s 
had a considerable stock of old ones. Some of these they 
were playing, when they began their first season in June 
1594. Several others were revived in the course of that 
season, and a few at later dates. The only new play of the 
repertory which reached the stage of revival during the 
three years was Belin Dun , which was originally produced 
on 10 June 1594, played to the end of the year, then dropped, 
and afterwards revived for a single performance on 11 July 
1596, and for a series in the spring of 1597. But it is not 
likely that many new plays were written during the plague 
years, and probably most of the revived plays of 1594-5 
were a good deal more than two or three years old. A list 
of the plays not marked 4 ne * by Henslowe, nineteen in 
number, follows. It is, however, possible that some of them 
are only plays in the list already given, masquerading under 
different names. 


Cutlack. 

The Ranger's Comedy . 

The Guise } or, The Massacre of 
Paris . 

The Jew of Malta . 

Mahomet . 
j Tamburlaine . 


Dr. Faustus. 

The Love of a Grecian Lady f 
or, The Grecian Comedy . 1 
The French Doctor. 
Warlamchester. 

2 Tamburlaine . 

The Siege of London. 


1 Possibly identical with Mahomet , if that was Peele's play. Dr. Greg’s 
identification with The Love of an English Lady strikes me as rather 
arbitrary. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 


147 


Antony and Valia } Osric. 

1 Long Meg of Westminster . 2 T ime's T Humph and Fortune's . 

The Welshman . 3 The Witch of Islington. 

1 Fortunatus . 

Five plays of Marlowe’s are conspicuous in the list. Mahomet 
might be either Greene’s Alphonsus t King of Arragon or 
Peele’s lost Turkish Mahomet and Hiren the Fair Greek. 
Fortunatus , as revised by Dekker in 1599, is extant, but it 
is doubtful whether Dekker was writing early enough to 
have been the author of the original play. Conjectural 
identifications of some of the other titles have been attempted. 4 
There is, perhaps, a natural inclination to eke out our meagre 
knowledge of the repertory of the earlier Admiral’s men, as 
it was constituted before 1590, by the assumption that the 
old and the revised new plays of 1594-7 belong to that stock. 
But this can only be proved to be so in the case of 1 and 2 
Tamburlaine , where the title-page of the 1590 edition comes 
to our assistance. There is no trace between 1594 and 1597 
of any of the other three plays, The Battle of Alcazar y The 
Wounds of Civil War , and Orlando Furioso , which there is 
independent evidence for connecting with the Admiral’s. 
And it must be borne in mind that there were several other 
sources from which a supply of old plays might be drawn. 
Alleyn seems to have bought up the books and properties 
of the pre-1590 men, and we do not know how far he also 
retained rights in some or all of the plays produced during 
his alliance with Strange’s. Moreover, there were plenty of 
opportunities for either Alleyn, Henslowe, or the Admiral’s 
men as a whole, to acquire copies from one or more of the 
companies, Pembroke’s, the Queen’s, Sussex’s, which went 
under in the plague years. Henry V, if identical with The 
Famous Victories , had certainly been a Queen’s play ; The 
Ranger's Comedy had been played for Henslowe by the 
Queen’s and Sussex’s in April 1594 ; Jeronimo and The Guise 
had been similarly played by Strange’s in 1592-3 ; and 
the fact that Strange’s, the Queen’s, Sussex’s, and the 

1 I assume that ‘ valy a for * entered on 4 Jan. 1595 is the same play. 
Conceivably it might be Vallingford, i. e. Fair Em, an old Strange’s play. 

2 An allusion in Field’s Amends for Ladies , ii. 1, shows that Long Meg 
still held the Fortune stage about 1611. 

3 Possibly identical with Longshanks. 

4 The relations suggested are between The Love of a Grecian Lady and 
the German Tugend- und Liehesstreit, The French Doctor and both Dekker ’s 
Jew of Venice and the German Josephus Jude von Venedig, The Siege of 
London and Heywood’s 1 Edward IV, The Welshman and R. A.’s The 
Valiant Welshman, Time's Triumph and Fortune's and Heywood’s Timon. 
For details cf. Henslowe, ii. 165 sqq . 



148 


THE COMPANIES 


Admiral’s, all in turn played The Jew of Malta leads to a strong 
suspicion that it was Henslowe’s property and placed by him 
at the disposal of any company that might from time to time 
be occupying his theatre. 

The Rose was what is now known as a * repertory * house. 
A very successful play might be repeated on the night after 
its first production or revival, or in the course of the same week. 
But as a rule one performance a week was the limit, and after 
a play had been on the boards a few weeks, the intervals 
between its appearances rapidly became greater. The Wise 
Man of West Chester , which was presented thirty-two times 
between December 1594 and July 1597, had a longer life 
than any other new play during the three years. Next came 
A Knack to Know an Honest Man , with twenty-one perform- 
ances in two years, 1 Seven Days of the Week , with twenty-one 
performances in fifteen months, and The Blind Beggar of 
Alexandria y with twenty-two performances in fourteen 
months. Belin Dun } although not continuously upon the 
stage for long together, achieved with the aid of its revival 
a total of twenty-four performances. The only other new 
plays, that outlived a year, were 2 Godfrey of Bulloigne and 
A Toy to Please Chaste Ladies . Even such highly successful 
plays as 1 and 2 Hercules ceased to be heard of after six 
months. The usual run of a play was anything from six to 
seventeen nights, but sixteen plays failed to obtain even 
such a run, and several plays, which apparently did well 
enough on the first night, were not repeated at all. As a rule 
the first night of a play brought Henslowe the highest returns ; 
but this was by no means invariably the case, and the success 
of any play, which held the boards for as many as six nights, 
can perhaps best be measured by its average returns. By 
far the most fortunate was The Comedy of Humours which 
averaged 53s. for the eleven nights available before the 
summer season of 1597 closed. Next came 1 and 2 Hercules 
with 425. and 43s. respectively, 1 Seven Days of the Week 
with 35s., and The Wise Man of West Chester with 345. On 
the other hand the average of Henry I was no more than 
195. and that of the second French Comedy no more than 165. 
The highest individual returns were those from the first 
nights of 1 and 2 Hercules , 2 Godfrey of Bulloigne , and 1 Seven 
Days of the Week , which yielded 735., yos. } yis., and yos. 
respectively, and that from the sixth night of the Comedy of 
Humours , which was also yos. The booking for this play 
shows a curious progress, being 435., 55 $., 58 $., 64 $., 66 $., 
yos., for the first six nights. Similarly The Wise Man of 
West Chester , which began with a bad first night of 33$., 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 149 

rose to a good average, while 2 Godfrey of Bulloigne, for all its 
start of 705., ended with an average of only 285. The worst 
first night taking was the 22s. of Nebuchadnezzar , and this 
affords another curious example of box-office fluctuations, 
for, though it achieved no higher average than 22s., it rose 
on its third night to 68s. The worst takings, on other than 
first nights, were 3s. for Chinon of England, 1 4 s. for Vortigern , 
and for Olympo , and 5 s. twice over for A Woman Hard to 
Please . Probably these were due to weather or other accidents, 
as each play averaged enough to justify a reasonable run. 
The success of the old plays followed much the same lines as 
that of the new ones. They ran for anything from one night 
to twenty-four, this total being reached by Dr. Faustus. The 
best average returns were the 32s. and 38s. of 1 and 2 Tam - 
burlaine , the 30s. of Mahomet , the 29s. of 1 Long Meg of 
Westminster, the 27s. of The Guise, and the 26s. of The Jew 
of Malta ; the best individual returns the 72s. and 71s. 
yielded by the respective first nights of Dr. Faustus and 
I Tamburlaine. The persistent popularity of Marlowe’s 
work comes out quite clearly from the statistics ; and the 
success of Chapman’s first attempts is also not to be over- 
looked. 

The personnel of the Admiral’s men during 1594-7 can be 
determined with some approach to certainty. They were 
Edward Alleyn, John Singer, Richard Jones, Thomas Towne, 
Martin Slater, Edward Juby, Thomas Downton, and James 
Donstone. Their names are found in a list written in the 
diary, without any explanation of its object, amongst 
memoranda* of 1594-6. 2 There can be little doubt that it 
represents the principal members of the company, and in 
most cases corroborative evidence is available. The books 
of the Treasurer of the Chamber indicate Alleyn, Jones, and 
Singer as payees for the Court money of 1594-5, and Alleyn 
and Slater for that of 1 595 - 6 . Alleyn, Slater, Donstone, and 
Juby are noted in Henslowe’s subsidiary accounts for 1596 
as responsible for advances made by him on behalf of the 
company. 3 Another advance was made to Stephen the 
tireman, and he is doubtless the Stephen Magett who also 
appears in personal financial relations with Henslowe during 
1 596. 4 Transactions by way of loan, sale, or pawn are also 
noted by Henslowe during i 594~7 with Slater, Jones, Don- 
stone, Singer, and Towne, and also with Edward Dutton and 

1 This was on Whit-Tuesday 1596, and I rather suspect a mis-entry 
of iij* for the exact amount taken for the plays of the Monday and 
Wednesday in the same week. 

* Henslowe, i. 5. 8 Ibid. 44. 4 Ibid. 31, 45. 



150 THE COMPANIES 

Richard Alleyn. 1 These latter were probably not sharers in 
the company, but can be traced with others amongst its 
subordinate members by means of the 4 plot * of Frederick 
and Basilea } which it is reasonable to connect with the 
performances of the play in June and July 1597, since it 
was a new play on 3 June, and it is recorded in the diary that 
Martin Slater, who figures in the ‘ plot ’, left the company on 
18 July. It is to be inferred from the plot that the principal 
parts in Frederick and Basilea were taken by Mr. Alleyn, 
Mr. Thomas Towne, Mr. Martin [Slater], Mr. Juby, Mr. Don- 
stone, and R. Alleyn ; that minor male parts were taken by 
Edward Dutton, Thomas Hunt, Robert Ledbetter, Black 
Dick, Pigge, Sam, Charles, and the 4 gatherers ’ or money- 
takers and other 4 attendants * ; and that female parts were 
taken by Edward Dutton’s boy Dick and two other boys 
known as Will and Griffen. Apparently the play, although 
not employing all the principal actors, made considerable 
demands on the minor staff. Dr. Greg may be right in 
identifying Sam and Charles with the Samuel Rowley and 
Charles Massey who became members of the company at a 
later date. 2 It will be seen that the only name in Hens- 
lowe’s undated list which cannot be verified as that of 
a member of the company during 1594-7 is that of Thomas 
Downton ; but it may safely be accepted. Downton had 
accompanied Alleyn on the provincial tour with Strange’s 
men in 1593. So had Pigge or Pyk. Jones and Donstone, 
who is the same as Tunstall, had belonged to Worcester’s 
men in 1583, and probably to the Admiral’s men before 1590 ; 
Jones had been abroad, as we have seen, during the plague 
years. John Singer had been a member of the Queen’s men 
in 15 88. The other names now come into the story for the 
first time. Henslowe’s advances for 1596 included sums ‘ to 
feache Fletcher ’ and 4 to feache Browne \ 3 It can only be 
matter of conjecture whether there is evidence here of 
negotiations for the incorporation in the company of Robert 
Browne and of Laurence Fletcher, at a later date a colleague 
of Slater’s, and if so, whether they led to any fruitful result. 

The departure of Martin Slater on 18 July 1597 was only 
one of several changes which profoundly modified the composi- 
tion of the company in the course of that year. 4 In February 

1 Henslowe, i. 29, 31* 43, 44. 1 99-201. 

2 I see no reason to agree with Dr. Greg in identifying * Black Dick ' 
with Jones, who would naturally have the ' Mr. ' ; and the suggestions 
that * Dick ' might be Dick Juby and that ‘ Will * might be Will Bariies 
or Will Parr are mere guesses based on the occurrence of these names 
in other * plots \ ‘ Will ' might just as well be Will Kendall. 

3 Henslowe, i. 45. 

4 Henslowe’s entry is (i. 54), ‘ Martin Slather went for the company 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 


* 5 * 

Richard Jones and Thomas Downton went to the Swan as 
Pembroke’s men, and the disturbance thereby caused 
probably accounts for the three weeks’ cessation of playing 
during Lent. The Swan enterprise was brought to a disastrous 
conclusion after five months by the production of The Isle 
of Dogs , which not only brought personal trouble on the 
chief offenders, but also led to a restraint of plays at all the 
theatres. This event synchronizes with the first appearance 
in the diary of Nashe’s collaborator in The Isle of Dogs , 
Ben Jonson. On 28 July Henslowe lent him no less a sum 
than £4, and took Alleyn and Singer as witnesses. On the 
same day he opened an account headed 4 ft of Bengemenes 
Johnsones share as ffoloweth ’ with a first instalment of 
3$*. 9 d. 1 On this very day of 28 July the Privy Council’s 
inhibition fell, and Jonson went to prison and paid no more 
instalments. It is impossible to say whether his 4 share ’ was 
in the Admiral’s company or in Pembroke’s. In any event, 
although he continued to write for the Admiral’s men after 
1597, there is no further sign that he was either a 4 sharer ’, 
or indeed an actor in any capacity. 

One result of the restraint was that Jones and Downton 
not merely returned to the Rose, but brought at least three 
other of Pembroke’s men, Robert Shaw, Gabriel Spencer, 
and William Bird, known also by the alias of Borne, with 
them. Henslowe was thus enabled, almost immediately 
after playing stopped, to set about the reconstitution of his 
company, and the memoranda of agreement which he noted 
in his diary during the next fourteen months are so interesting 
for the light which they throw upon his relations with the 
actors, that I think it well, before discussing them, to transcribe 
them in full. There are in all eleven of them, as follows : 2 

i. ( Thomas Hearne) 

Memorandom that the 27 of Jeuley 1597 I heayred Thomas Hearne 
with ij pence for to searve me ij yeares in the qualetie of playenge for 
fyve shellynges a weacke for one yeare & vj s viij d for the other yeare 
which he hath covenanted hime seallfe to searue me & not to departe 
frome my companey tyll this ij yeares be eanded wittnes to this 

John Synger. 

Jeames Donston. 

Thomas Towne. 

of my lord admeralles men the 18 of July 1597'. I think that ' for* 
must be meant for ‘ from Elsewhere (i. 66) Henslowe writes ‘ for ’ for 
‘ from \ 

1 Henslowe, i. 47, 200. 

2 Ibid. 201-4 ; Egerton MS. 2623, f. 19 (a fragment from the Diary). 



152 


THE COMPANIES 


ii. (John Helle) 

Lent John Helle the clowne the 3 of Aguste 1597 in redy money the 
some of x 8 . At that tyme I bownd hime by ane a sumsett of ij d to 
contenew with me at my howsse in playinge tylle Srafte tid next after 
the date a boue written yf not to forfytte vnto me fortipowndes 
wittneses to the same 

E Alleyn John Synger Jeames Donstall. 

Edward Jubey Same well Rowley. 

iii. {Richard Jones ) 

Memorandom that the 6 of Aguste 1597 I bownd Richard Jones by 
& a sumsett of ij d to contenew & playe with the companye of my lord 
Admeralles players frome Mihelmase next after the daye a bowe 
written vntell the eand & tearme of iij yeares emediatly followinge 
& to playe in my howsse only known by the name of the Rosse & in 
no other howse a bowt London publicke & yf restraynte be granted 
then to go for the tyme into the contrey & after to retome agayne to 
London yf he breacke this a sumsett then to forfett vnto me for the 
same a hundreth markes of lafull money of Ingland wittnes to this 
E Alleyn & John Midelton. 

iv. {Robert Shaw) 

More over Richard Jones at that tyme [6 Aug. 1597] hath tacken 
one other ij d of me vpon & asumset to forfet vnto me one hundrethe 
markes yf one Robart Shaee do not playe with my lordes Admeralles 
men as he hath covenanted be fore in euery thinge & time to the oter 
moste wittnes E Alleyn John Midellton. 

v. {William Borne ) 

Memorandom that the 10 of Aguste 1597 William Borne came & 
ofered hime sealfe to come and playe with my lord Admeralles mean 
at my howsse called by the name of the Rosse setewate one the back 
after this order folowinge he hath receued of me iij d vpon & a sumsette 
to forfette vnto me a hundrethe marckes of lafull money of Ingland yf 
he do not performe thes thinges folowinge that is presentley after 
libertie being granted for playinge to come & to playe with my lordes 
Admeralles men at my howsse aforsayd & not in any other howsse 
publicke a bowt London for the space of iij yeares beginynge imediatly 
after this restraynt is recaled by the lordes of the cownsell which 
restraynt is by the meanes of playinge the Jeylle of Dooges yf he do 
not then he forfettes this asumset afore or ells not wittnes to this 
E Alleyn & Robsone. 


vi. {Thomas Downton) 

Memorandom that the 6 of October 1597 Thomas Dowton came & 
bownd him seallfe vnto me in xxxx 11 in & a somesett by the receuing 
of iij d of me before wittnes the covenant is this that he shold frome 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 


153 


the daye a bove written vntell Sraftid next come ij yeares to playe in 
my howsse & in no other a bowte London publickely yf he do with owt 
my consent to forfet vnto me this some of money a bove written 
wittnes to this 

E Alleyn Robarte Shawe 

W m Borne John Synger 

Dicke Jonnes 

vii. ( William Kendall !) 

Memorandum that this 8 th of December 1597 my father Philyp 
Hinshlow hierd as a covenauant servant Willyam Kendall for ij 
years after the statute of Winchester with ij single penc a to geue 
hym for his sayd servis even week of his playng in London x 8 & in the 
cuntrie v 8 for the which he covenaunteth for the space of those ij years 
to be redye att all tymes to play in the howse of the sayd Philyp & 
in no other during the said terme. 

Wittnes my self the writer of this E Alleyn. 

viii. {James Bristmv) 

Bought my boye Jeames Brystow of William Agusten player the 
18 of Desember 1597 for viij 11 . 

ix. ( Rickard Alleyn ) 

Memorandom that this 25 of Marche 1598 Richard Alleyne came 
& bownde hime seallfe vnto me for ij yeares in & asumsette as a hiered 
servante with ij syngell pence & to contenew frome the daye aboue 
written vnto the eand & tearme of ij yeares yf he do not performe this 
covenant then he to forfette for the breache of yt fortye powndes & 
wittnes to this 

W m Borne. 

Thomas Dowton. 

Gabrell Spencer. 

Robart Shawe. 

Richard Jonnes. 

x. ( Thomas Hey wood) 

Memorandom that this 25 of Marche 1598 Thomas Hawoode came 
and hiered hime seallfe with me as a covenante searvante for ij yeares 
by the receuenge of ij syngell pence acordinge to the statute of Win- 
shester & to begine at the daye a boue written & not to playe any wher 
publicke a bowt London not whille these ij yeares be expired but in 
my howsse yf he do then he doth forfett vnto me by the receuinge of 
these ij d fortie powndes & wittnes to this 

Antony Monday W m Borne 
Gabrell Spencer Thomas Dowton 
Robart Shawe Richard Jonnes. 
Richard Alleyn. 



154 


THE COMPANIES 


xi. (t Charles Massey and Samuel Rowley) 

Memorandom that this 16 of November 1598 I hired as my covenant 
servantes Charles Massey & Samewell Rowley for a yeare & as mvche 
as to Sraftide begenynge at the daye a bove written after the statute 
of Winchester with ij syngell pence & for them they haue covenanted 
with me to playe in my howes & in no other howsse dewringe the thime 
publeck but in mine yf they dooe with owt my consent yf they dooe 
to forfett vnto me xxxx 11 a pece wittnes Thomas Dowton Robart 
Shawe W m Borne Jubey Richard Jonnes. 

Evidently the position of James Bristow is distinct from 
that of the other players. He was a 4 boy * or apprentice, 
whose indentures had been transferred to Henslowe for a 
consideration by his former master. In the rest of the cases, 
the essence of the agreement appears to be the undertaking 
by the player under bond to play only with the Admiral’s 
men at Henslowe’s house. It is interesting to notice that in 
the agreement with Hearne Henslowe calls the company 
4 my company * ; and the fact that its members were con- 
stituted Henslowe’s covenant servants seems to argue a closer 
personal relation between the organization and its financier, 
than might on other grounds have been inferred. Dr. Greg, 
indeed, draws a distinction between the agreements with 
Jones, Shaw, Borne, and Downton, whom he regards as 
merely 4 binding themselves to play at Henslowe’s house 
like other sharers ’, and those with the rest, whom he regards 
as 4 placing themselves in the position of covenant servants 
to him, which would seem to imply that they were merely 
hired men’. 1 But I do not think that there is any justification 
for this theory in the terms of the documents, and it immedi- 
ately gets Dr. Greg into difficulties about Massey and Rowley, 
who, as we shall see, were in fact on the footing of full members 
of the company even before the date of their agreement. 
I do not mean that I deny the distinction between sharers 
and hired men, which is of course important, but that I do 
not think that it is relevant to the contractual relations set 
up by the agreements. I am not quite clear whether Henslowe’s 
memoranda, which are written throughout, including the 
names of the witnesses, in his own hand or Alleyn’s, constitute 
the formal instruments under which the agreements were 
effected, or are merely notes for his own information. But 
in either event their terminology is loose. They are not 
always expressed as being agreements of hiring, or for service, 
even in the cases of those men whom Dr. Greg does not 
suppose to have been sharers, and they are not careful to 


1 Henslowe, ii. 89, 101. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 


155 


specify the considerations, other than the formal 2d. or 3 d., 
which the actors were to receive. Wages are, in fact, provided 
for only in the agreements with Hearne and Kendall, and it 
is quite possible that, if we had the full terms before us, we 
should find that, while some of the others were also to receive 
wages, some were to find their recompense in a share of such 
profits as the company might make. It is probable that, 
even where Henslowe undertook to pay wages, the general 
agreement between him and the company provided for the 
shifting of that liability to them. They certainly had to 
pay him, at the rate of 35. a week, for the services of his boy 
Bristow. 1 To a slightly later date belongs an agreement with an 
unnamed actor, in which the hirer is not Henslowe but Thomas 
Downton, and this I add in order to complete the series. 2 

xii. 

Thomas Downton the 25 of Janewary 1599 ded hire as his couenante 

servante for ij yers to begyne at Shrofe Tewesday next & he to 

geue hime viij« a wecke as longe as they playe & after they lye stylle 
one fortnyght then to geue hime hallfe wages wittnes P H & Edward 
Browne & Charlies Masey. 

The appearance of Jones as guarantee for Shaw is due to 
the fact that, as a result of The Isle of Dogs, the latter was 
languishing with Gabriel Spencer and Ben Jonson in the 
Marshalsea. Meanwhile some at least of the company 
travelled. Henslowe lent Alleyn 405. for John Singer and 
Thomas Towne * when they went into the contrey * and 
noted that this was 4 at ther last cominge \ There is another 
entry of a small loan to Singer on 9 August, so they cannot 
have started before that ; and they must have been back 
by 6 October, when Singer witnessed the agreement with 
Thomas Downton. Possibly Edward Dutton and Richard 
Alleyn, who also borrowed money from Henslowe, went with 
them. 3 The Privy Council warrants for the release of the 
prisoners in the Marshalsea were signed on 3 October, 4 and 
a few days later Henslowe, more successful than Langley 
of the Swan in getting the licence for his house renewed, 
even before the formal expiration of the restraint on 1 Novem- 
ber, was in a position to resume his play list with the heading, 
4 The xj of Octobe begane my lord Admerals & my lorde of 
Penbrockes men to play at my howsse 1597 \ 6 The entries 
of plays are few and irregular up to 5 November, and then stop. 


1 Henslowe, i. 105, 131, 134. 

8 Ibid. 1 99-20 1. 

6 Henslowe, i. 54 ; E. S. xliii. 351. 


2 Ibid. 40. 

4 App. D, No. cxii. 



THE COMPANIES 


156 

A note is appended that on 26 November the Master of the 
Revels was paid for four weeks. The performances included 
one new play, Friar Spendleto n, and five old ones, Jeronimo , 
The Comedy of Humours^ Dr. Faustus , Hardicanute t and 
Bourbon , of which the last two do not belong to the 1594-7 
repertory, and may have been contributed by Pembroke’s 
men. The diary also contains an account of weekly receipts 
running from 21 October 1597 to 4 March 1598, under the 
heading, 4 A juste a cownte of all suche monye as I haue 
receyed of my lord Admeralles & my lord of Penbrocke men 
as foloweth be gynynge the 21 of October 1597 ’, and some 
notes of individual advances and repayments, mainly through 
Robert Shaw and Thomas Downton, on behalf of the company, 
from 23 October to 12 December. 1 In the course of these the 
company is again described on 23 October and 5 November 
as 4 the company of my lord Admeralles men & my lord 
Penbrockes but on 1 December as 4 the companey of my 
lord Admeralles men ’ ; and the substance of the whole of 
these advances is set out again, without any reference to 
Pembroke’s men, at the beginning of a continuous account 
from 21 October inwards, which is headed, 4 A juste a cownt 
of all suche money as I haue layd owt for my lord Admeralles 
players begynyng the xj of October whose names ar as 
foloweth Borne Gabrell Shaw Jonnes Dowten Jube Towne 
Synger & the ij Geffes Nothing .very certain is known of 
the previous career of Humphrey and Anthony Jeffes, but 
if the former is the 4 Humfrey ’ who appears with 4 Gabriel ’ 
[Spencer] in the stage-directions to 3 Henry VI it is most 
likely that these men also came from Pembroke’s. 3 

The responsible members of the Admiral’s company at 
the beginning of the third period of their existence were, then, 
so far as their relations to Henslowe were concerned, Thomas 
Downton, Richard Jones, Edward Juby, Thomas Towne, 
John Singer, Robert Shaw, William Borne, who seems to 
have had the regular alias of William Bird, Gabriel Spencer, 
Humphrey Jeffes, and Anthony Jeffes. To these must 
probably be added a number of hired men, including Thomas 
Hearne, John Helle, William Kendall, Richard Alleyn, 
Thomas Heywood, and probably Charles Massey, Samuel 
Rowley, Thomas Hunt, and Stephen Maget the tireman, and 
of apprentices, including James Bristow and Pigge. Of the 
sharers Downton, Jones, Juby, Towne, and Singer had alone 
belonged to the earlier Admiral’s men. Slater’s departure 
involved the company in a law-suit, the nature of which is 


1 Henslowe, i. 68-70. 


2 Ibid. 82. 


3 Ibid. ii. 91 ; cf. p. 200, 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 


157 


not stated in the diary. Professor Wallace, however, has 
found an independent record of a Queen’s Bench action by 
Thomas Downton to recover £13 6s. 8 d., the value of a play- 
book which Downton had lost in the parish of St. Mary le 
Bow on 1 December 1597, and Slater had * found refused 
to surrender, and was alleged to have disposed of for his own 
profit. Damages of £10 10 s. were awarded on 3 November 
1598. 1 Donstone also seems to have dropped out or may have 
been dead ; he witnessed Helle’s agreement on 3 August 
1597, and thereafter no more is heard of him. But incom- 
parably the greatest loss was that of Edward Alleyn, who now 
retired from the stage and did not return to it for a period of 
three years. 2 From 29 December 1397 to 8 November 1598 
Henslowe made notes of playing goods bought ‘ sence my 
sonne Edward Allen leafte [p]laynge ’, and it would appear 
that the company acknowledged a debt of £50 in respect 
of his interest on retirement. 3 In place of Alleyn, it would 
seem that the lead was taken by Robert Shaw and Thomas 
Downton, perhaps as representing the two elements of 
which the company was made up. These two were joint 
payees for the Court money of both 1597-8 and 1598-9. 
For 1599-1600 Shaw was sole payee. It was, moreover, most 
often, although by no means always, to one or other of these 
men that Henslowe’s advances on behalf of the company were 
made. It must be added that some of the new-comers appear 
to have sought private assistance from Henslowe in order to 
enable them to take up their shares. On 14 January 1598, 
he opened an account of sums received ‘ of Humfreye Jeaffes 
hallfe share ’, entered seven instalments up to 4 March, 
amounting to a total of 605. 6 d., and then noted, ‘ This some 
was payd backe agayne vnto the companey of my lord 
Admeralles players the 8 of Marche 1598, & they shared yt 
amonste them ’. There is a later account, running from 
29 April to 21 July 1598, and amounting by small instal- 
ments to 355., of * all such money as I dooe receue for Umfrey 
Jeaffes and Antoney Jeaffes ... of the companey’. 4 Possibly 
the brothers only held a single share between them. A similar 
transaction took place with Gabriel Spencer. On 20 April 
1598 this actor gave an acknowledgement for £4 and between 
6 April and 24 June Henslowe carried to an account headed 
of Gabrell Spencer at severall tymes of his share in the 
gallereyes * a total of 255. 6 d. } of which 5 s. 6 d. was paid over 
to Downton. 6 In addition, personal loans were negotiated 

1 Henslowe, i. 69, 73 ; Wallace in E. S. xliii. 382. 

2 Cf. p. 173. 3 Henslowe, i. 8i, 122. 

4 Ibid.’64, 67. * Ibid. 63, 79. 



158 


THE COMPANIES 


from time to time by various members of the company, and 
the reasons given for these indicate that in the course of 1598, 
besides the dispute of the ex- Pembroke’s men with Langley, 
Bird and perhaps the company as a whole were engaged in 
litigation with Thomas Pope, presumably the actor in the 
Chamberlain’s company. 1 

There does not seem to have been much further change 
in the composition of the Admiral’s men during 1597-1600. 
An acknowledgement of the state of their account with 
Henslowe between 8 and 13 March 1598 bears the signatures 
of 4 J. Singer, Thomas Downton, William Birde, Robt Shaa, 
Richard Jones, Gabrieli Spenser, Thomas Towne, Humfry 
Jeffes, Charles Massye, and Samuell Rowlye’. 2 * The last two 
had evidently become sharers in the course of the year. Juby 
and Anthony Jeffes do not sign, but this is probably due to 
an accident, as they were certainly sharers both in 1597 and 
in 1600. 8 Gabriel Spencer was killed by Ben Jonson (cf. 
ch. xxiii) on 22 September 1598. On 26 September Henslowe 
wrote to Alleyn at the Brill in Sussex, 4 Now to leat you 
vnderstand newes I will teall you some but yt is for me harde 
& heavey. Sence you weare with me I haue loste one of my 
company which hurteth me greatley ; that is Gabrell, for he 
is slayen in Hogesden fylldes by the handes of Bengemen 
Jonson bricklayer ’. 4 No doubt Henslowe wrote from the 
heart. Probably Spencer’s share was not yet paid for, and 
in addition small personal loans to the amount of 665. stand 
undischarged against him in the diary, of which the last was 
on 19 May 4 to bye a plume of feathers which his mane 
Bradshawe feched of me ’. Richard Bradshaw was an actor 
and may have played as a hired man with the company. 
A fragmentary 4 plot ’ of Troilus and Cressida , probably to 
be dated in April 1599, yields the names of 4 Mr. Jones ’ and 
his # 4 boy ’, Thomas Hunt, Stephen, Proctor, and Pigge. 
Mr. ’Jones’s boy is shown by a note of 17 November 1599 in 
the diary to have been called James. 6 Of Proctor no more is 
known. Stephen is probably Stephen Magett, the tireman, 
and Pigge was with Alleyn on the tour of Strange’s men in 

1 Henslowe, i. 72, ' Lent W m Borne to folowe the sewt agenste Thomas 
Poope'; cf. i. 26, 38, 47-8, 56, 63-9, 71-8, 80, 201, 205; and s.v. 
Pembroke's. 2 Henslowe, i. 84. 

8 During 1599-1602 Henslowe sometimes enters advances as made to 
the company through ‘ W ra ’ Juby, and in two cases corrects the entry 
by substituting * Edward '. As there is no other evidence for a William 

Juby as an actor, not to speak of a sharer, either Henslowe must have 
persistently mistaken the name, or William must have been a relative 
of Edward, acting as his agent (cf. Henslowe, ii. 290). 

4 Henslowe Papers, 48. 6 Henslowe, i. 26. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 


159 


1593. He is also mentioned, with Dobe, Whittcombe, and 
Anderson, who may have been actors, in some inventories of 
properties belonging to Alleyn or to the company in March 
1598. 1 Thomas Downton also had in June 1600 a 4 boye ' 
who played in Cupid and Psyche . 2 Another acknowledgement 
of account, dated on 10 July 1600, only differs from the 
former one by the omission of Spencer’s name and the inclusion 
of those of Juby and Anthony Jeffes. 3 The alleged manuscript 
notes to a copy of Dekker’s Shoemaker's Holiday (q.v.), 
produced in January 1600, which are discredited by Dr. Greg, 
give the cast as composed of 4 Jones, H. Jeffes, Rowley, 
Shawe, Massy, Dowton, Singer, Jewby, Towne, A. Jeffes, 
Birde, Wilson, Flower, Price, Day, Dowton’s boy Ned and 
Alleine ’ ; the last for a female part. Certainly nothing is 
known of Day or Wilson as actors for the Admiral’s, or of 
Price at any such early date, or of Flower at all. But if the 
document is a forgery, it is a very pointless, and at the same 
time a very cautious one. And how did the forger, unless 
he were Collier or Cunningham, know that Day was an actor 
at all ? 

The records kept by Henslowe for the period 1597-1600 
differ considerably in character from those for 1594-7. The 
diurnal list of plays performed and of rent-takings disappears 
altogether. On the other hand, the records of advances 
made, for the books and licensing of plays, for costumes and 
properties, and for certain miscellaneous items of expenditure, 
become full and systematic. A per contra account is also kept 
of weekly sums received by Henslowe in repayment of such 
advances, and from time to time a balance is struck, and the 
hands of the company taken to a settlement or acknowledge- 
ment of debt. Henslowe’s book-keeping, however, if not 
exactly faulty, is not always sufficiently lucid to make the 
whole of the financial transactions perfectly clear. In the 
absence of the daily entries of performances, the weekly 
records of repayments make it possible to determine roughly 
the periods covered by the theatrical seasons. 4 The company 
played for twenty continuous weeks from 11 October 1597 
to about 4 March 1598, apparently with some irregularity 
at the beginning and again about Christmas time. Their 
Court plays were on 27 December and 28 February. In Lent 
they had a three weeks’ interval, during the course of which 
they met to read a book in New Fish Street, and ‘ played 
in Fleatstreet pryuat \ 6 Playing was resumed about 25 March 
and lasted for some fifteen weeks, until about 8 July, making 

1 Henslowe Papers , 113. 2 Henslowe, i. 122. 3 Ibid. 122. 

4 Ibid. 66, 68,^91, 108. 3 Ibid. 85. 



THE COMPANIES 


x6o 

thirty-five weeks in all for the year 1597-8. The company 
only took two weeks’ vacation in the summer and are not 
likely to have travelled, although on 27 September, after the 
new season had begun, Borne is found riding to the Lord 
Admiral at Croydon at the time of the Queen’s visit there. 1 
They played for thirty-one weeks from about 22 July to 
24 February 1599, with performances at Court on 27 December, 
6 January and 18 February, and stopped for three weeks in 
Lent. The summer season lasted for eleven weeks from about 
19 March to 3 June, making forty-four weeks playing for 
1598-9. On Easter Eve Towne and Richard Alleyn went 
to Court for some unspecified purpose. About the same time 
Anthony Jeffes was making purchases against St. George’s 
Day. 2 The interval of this summer was seventeen weeks, but 
I have no evidence of any travelling. The next season was 
one of nineteen weeks from about 29 September 1599 to 
10 February 1600, with Court performances on 27 December 
and 1 January, and was followed by a Lenten interval of 
about four weeks. At the beginning of February they bought 
a drum and trumpets 4 when to go into the contry ’. 3 Whether 
these were for use during the short break in Lent or not until 
the following summer must remain uncertain ; at any rate 
the purchase confirms the view that there had been no pro- 
vincial tour since 1596. 4 Finally they played for nineteen 
weeks from about 2 March to 13 July, thus completing 
thirty-six weeks for 1599-1600. Apparently the summer 
season was diversified by a visit to Windsor for the Garter 
installation of Henri IV of France on 27 April. 5 In all they 
seem to have played for about 115 weeks or something under 
690 days in 1597-1600, as compared with 728 days in 1594-7. 

The entries of sums paid for plays usually give the names of 
the authors as well as those of the plays, and therefore furnish 
a good deal of material for reconstituting the literary side of 
the company’s activity. Henslowe’s terminology is neither 
precise nor uniform, but it is clear that, while the payments 
were always entered as loans to the company, they were 
often made direct by him to the playwrights, on the 4 appoint- 
ment ’ of one or more of its members. Sometimes they are 

1 Henslowe, i. 72. 2 Ibid. 63, 104. 3 Ibid. 118. 

4 I find * Lorde Haywards ' men at Leicester during Oct. -Dec. 1 599, 
4 Lord Howardes ' at Bristol in 1599-1600, * Lord Heywardes * at Bath 
in the same year, 4 Lord Howards ' at Coventry on 28 Dec. 1599, and 
4 Lord Haywards 4 in 1602-3. This must have been another company. 
The Admiral's were playing in London at the time of the Leicester and 
the earlier Coventry visits, and Lord Howard of Effingham became Earl 
of Nottingham on 22 Oct. 1596. They were at Canterbury in 1599-1600. 

5 Henslowe, i. 120. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 161 

expressed as being * to bye a boocke of * a play ; that is to 
say, for the purchase outright of an old or even a new manu- 
script. But a new play was generally commissioned, upon 
the strength of a sample or of an outline of the plot, and in 
such cases payment was made by instalments, of which the 
earlier ones were * lent upon * or * in earneste of * or 4 in parte 
paymente of ’, and the last 4 in full paymente of ’ the book. 
Portions of the manuscript were handed over as security for 
the earlier payments. Production was very rapid, and a play 
put together in two or three weeks often represented the 
collaboration of as many as four or even five or six authors. 
The procedure, which prevailed during the whole of the 
period covered by the diary, is illustrated by a small group 
of letters preserved amongst the miscellaneous papers found 
at Dulwich. Thus on 8 November 1599 Shaw writes with 
regard to 2 Henry Richmond , * Mr. Henshlowe, we haue heard 
their booke and lyke yt. Their pryce is eight poundes, which 
I pray pay now to Mr. Wilson, according to our promysse ’ ; 
and accordingly Henslowe includes in his account, by an 
entry written and signed by Wilson, a sum of £8 1 by a note 
vnder the hand of Mr. Rob: Shaw \ 1 On 14 June 1600 Shaw 
writes again, 1 I pray you, Mr. Henshlowe, deliuer vnto the 
bringer hereof the some of fyue & fifty shillinges to make the 
3 11 fyue shillinges which they receaued before full six poundes 
in full payment of their booke called the fayre Constance of 
Roome, whereof I pray you reserue for me Mr. Willsons 
whole share which is xj s . which I to supply his neede deliuered 
him yesternight.’ The diary duly records the payment to 
Drayton, Hathway, Munday, and Dekker 4 at the a poynt- 
ment of Roberte Shawe ’ of 445. 2 Similarly Samuel Rowley 
writes on 4 April 1601, ‘ Mr. Hinchloe, I haue harde fyue 
shetes of a playe of the Conqueste of the Indes & I dow not 
doute but it wyll be a verye good playe ; tharefore I praye 
ye delyuer them fortye shyllynges in earneste of it & take the 
papers into your one hands & on Easter eue thaye promyse 
to make an ende of all the reste ’. The earnest and several 
supplementary earnests were paid to Day, Haughton, and 
Smith, but the completion of the play lagged until the 
following September. 3 An undated letter of Rowley’s relates 
to the withdrawal of a play, * Mr. Hynchlo, I praye ye let 
Mr. Hathwaye haue his papars agayne of the playe of John 
a Gante & for the repayement of the monye back agayne he 
is contente to gyue ye a byll of his hande to be payde at some 

1 Henslowe Papers, 49 ; Henslowe, i. 113. 

2 Henslowe Papers, 55 ; Henslowe, i. 122. 

3 Henslowe Papers, 56 ; Henslowe, i. 135, 147. 

M 


2229*2 



162 


THE COMPANIES 


cartayne tyme as in your dyscressyon yow shall thinke good ; 
which done ye may crose it oute of your boouke & keepe the 
byll ; or else wele stande so much indetted to you & kepe the 
by 11 our selues \ Henslowe appears to have thought it safer 
to adopt the second alternative, as incomplete payments to 
the amount of £i 19 s. 0 d. for The Conquest of Spain by John 
of Gaunt still stand in his 4 boouke 1 . 1 Other letters of the same 
kind concern Six Yeomen of the West } and Too Good to be True, 2 
The normal price for a new play during 1597-1601 seems to 
have been £6, but sometimes it fell to £5 or possibly even £4, 
and sometimes the playwrights succeeded in squeezing out a 
few shillings more. One or two of them^ notably Chapman, 
were able to secure a higher rate from the beginning ; and 
about 1599 a general tendency towards a higher scale of prices 
becomes discernible. The ‘ book ’ of an old play could 
generally be purchased for about £ 2 . 

In attempting to estimate the actual 4 output ’ of the 
company, one is faced by the difficulty that some of the plays 
commissioned are not shown by the diary to have reached 
the stage of payment in full, and that it must, therefore, 
remain doubtful whether they were ever completed. It is 
possible that, as Dr. Greg thinks, 3 some of the payments 
were made direct by the company, instead of through Henslowe. 
But the correspondence just quoted rather suggests that any 
such arrangement would be exceptional ; and it would not 
be inconsistent with human nature, if the extremely out-at- 
elbows men of letters who hung about the Rose occasionally 
found it profitable to take their 4 earnest ’ for a play, and then 
to find plausible reasons for indefinitely delaying its comple- 
tion. Probably in the long run they had to account for the 
advance, but the example of The Conquest of Spain shows 
that such a repayment would not necessarily find its way into 
Henslowe's account. This view is borne out by an examina- 
tion of the affairs of one of the most impecunious of them all, 
Henry Chettle, during 1598-9. During the first six months 
of the year, he had a hand in half a dozen plays, all of which 
were completed and paid for in full. But on one of these, 
J Black Bateman of the North , Henslowe appears, perhaps by 
an oversight, to have paid him £1 too much. Af the beginning 
of May £1 was lent to Chettle upon this play, and the loan 
does not appear to have been considered when, on 22 May, 
a further sum of £6 was laid out upon 4 a boocke called Blacke 
Battmane of the North . . . which coste sixe powndes \ On 
24 June Chettle borrowed 10s., not apparently on any 

1 Henslowe Papers, 56 ; Henslowe, i. 135. 

2 Henslowe Papers, 56-8. 3 Henslowe, ii. 125. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 


163 


particular play, and Henslowe seems then to have recalled 
the overpayment, and noted against ChettleV name in the 
diary, 4 All his parte of boockes to this place are payde which 
weare dew unto hime & he reastes be syddes in my deatte 
the some of xxx 8 .’ Chettle collaborated in several other 
plays, which got completed during the year, but no deduction 
seems to have been made from his share of the fees in respect 
of this debt. In addition he had £5 upon A Woman's Tragedy , 
upon condition 4 eather to deliver the playe or els to paye 
the mony with in one forthnyght ’ ; he had 5s. in earnest 
upon Catiline's Conspiracy ; and he had £1 145. od . in earnest 
upon Brute ) probably a continuation of an older 1 Brute 
bought by the company. When the last payment on Brute 
was made on 16 September Henslowe noted, 4 Hary Cheattell 
vntell this place owes vs viij 11 ix 8 dew al his boockes & 
recknynges payd This amount is precisely made up of 
the 305. due on 24 June and the sums paid on account of 
these three plays. By 22 October Chettle had completed 
2 Brute and managed somehow to get £6 for it in full. On 
the same day he gave Henslowe an acknowledgement of 
a debt, not of £8 9 5. o d. y but of £9 9 s. od. In November he 
got an earnest of £1 for Tis no Deceit to Deceive the Deceiver , 
and £1 for 4 mending ’ Robin Hood , and in January 1599 305. 

4 to paye his charges in the Marshallsey \ Small loans of a 
shilling or two are also noted in the margin of the book, 
and appear to be quite distinct from the company’s account 
with him, and to indicate private generosities of Henslowe. 
In February 1599 Chettle had finished Polyphemus , and it is 
recorded that in full payment of £6 he got £2 105. down, 

4 & strocken of his deatte which he owes vnto the companey 
fyftye shelenges more \ A separate entry in the diary 
indicates that he paid off yet another 10s. out of his fee for 
The Spencers in March. 1 Material is not available for the 
further tracing of this particular chain of transactions, but 
the inference that credit obtained for an unfinished play had 
sometimes to be redeemed out of the profits of a finished 
one is irresistible. Chettle, at least, does not seem to have 
been hardly treated, but obviously the unbusinesslike methods 
of the playwrights kept down the price of plays, and a familiar 
device of the modern Barabbas was anticipated when Henry 
Porter was obliged, on the receipt of an earnest, to give 
Henslowe 4 his faythfulle promysse that I shold haue alle 
the boockes which he writte ether him sellfe or with any other ’. 2 
Whatever Henslowe’s precise financial relations with the 


1 Henslowe, i. 84-107. 


M 2 


2 Ibid. 103. 



164 THE COMPANIES 

company may have been, by the way, he seems to have been 
in a position to pose as paymaster, so far as the poets were 
concerned. 

On the whole, I think it must be concluded that, if the diary 
fails to record payments to the amount of at least £5 for 
a new play, there is prima facie evidence that that play never 
got itself finished. Occasionally, of course, apparently in- 
complete payments may be explained by the fact that the 
same play is entered under more than one name. Occasionally, 
also, a particular play may have been tacitly debited with 
payments not specifically expressed in the diary to have 
been made in respect of that play. Thus a sum of £2 paid on 
4 February 1598 ‘ to dise charge Mr. Dicker owt of the 
cownter in the Powltrey * was probably treated as an instal- 
ment of the price of Phaethon on which Dekker was then 
working, and for which otherwise only £4 is entered. Another 
sum of £3 10 5. paid on 30 January 1599 ‘ to descarge Thomas 
Dickers frome the a reaste of my lord Chamberlens men ’ 
seems similarly to have gone towards The First Introduction 
of the Civil Wars of France. And Haughton probably got 
105. less than he would otherwise have done for Ferrex and 
Porrex , because he had required a loan of that amount on 
10 March 1600, * to releace him owt of the Clyncke \ 1 The 
record, again, for a few plays is most likely rendered imperfect 
by the loss of a leaf or two from the manuscript, which once 
contained entries for the end of April and beginning of May 
1599. 2 When these factors have been taken into consideration, 
the resultant total of possibly unfinished plays is not a very 
large one, amounting for 1597-1600 on my calculation to 
not more than twenty as against fifty-six new plays duly 
completed and paid for in full. Of these twenty it is very 
likely that some were in fact finished, either for other com- 
panies, or for the Admiral’s men themselves, later than the 
period covered by the diary. It is, however, consonant with 
the literary temperament to suppose that some at least 
remained within the category of unrealized projects. The 
most puzzling problem is that of Haughton’s A Woman will 
have her Will. For this it is impossible to trace payments 
beyond £2 10 5., and these are not stated to be in full. Yet 
the play is not only now extant but was certainly extant in 
1598. In this case I see no alternative to Dr. Greg’s theory 
of direct payments by the company. 

Henslowe’s notes of advances to authors are not the sole 
material which is available for drawing up an account of 


1 Henslowe, i. 83, 101, 119. 


2 Ibid. li. 124. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 165 

the repertory of the Admiral’s men. There are also entries 
of the purchase of costumes and properties for certain plays, 
and of fees for the licensing of plays by the Master of the 
Revels. And there is a valuable series of inventories, formerly 
preserved at Dulwich, and dating from 1598, which record 
respectively the stock of apparel and properties in the hands 
of the Admiral’s men during the second week of March, 
their play-books at the same date, and the additions made out 
of Henslowe’s purchases up to about the following August. 1 
The theory that some of the plays recorded in the diary 
were never finished receives confirmation from the absence of 
any corroborative proof of their existence in these subsidiary 
entries and documents, whereas such evidence exists in the 
case of a very large proportion of the plays for which the diary 
records payment in full. It must not, however, be assumed, 
either that every play completed necessarily got produced, 
although it is not likely that many were withheld, or that 
a play was necessarily not produced, because no special 
apparel or properties were bought for it, since it may have 
been quite possible to mount some plays out of the company’s 
existing stock. The number of fees paid for licensing is so 
small in proportion to the number of plays certainly produced, 
that these fees cannot all be supposed to have passed through 
Henslowe’s hands. 

Subject to the difficulties discussed in the foregoing 
paragraphs, I think that the following is a fairly accurate 
account of the repertory of the company for the three years 
now in question. 2 During 1597-8 they purchased seventeen 

1 Henslowe Papers, 113, from Malone (1790), i. 2. 300 ; the manuscript 
is now lost. The various sections of the document are headed : (a) ‘ The 
booke of the Inventary of the goods of my lord Admeralles men, tacken 
the 10 of Marche in the yeare 1598 * ; (6) ' The Enventary of the Clownes 
sewtes and Hermetes Swetes, with dievers others sewtes, as followeth, 1598, 
the 10 of March ' ; (c) * The Enventary of all the aparell for my Lord 
Admiralles men, tacken the 10 of Marche 1598 — Leaft above in the tier- 
house in the cheast ’ ; (d) * The Enventary tacken of all the properties 
for my Lord Admeralles men, the 10 of Marche 1598'; (e) ‘ The Enventorey 
of all the aparell of the Lord Admeralles men, taken the 13 th of Marche 
1 598, as followeth ’ ; (/) ‘ A Note of all suche bookes as belong to the Stocke, 
and such as I have bought since the 3 d of Marche 1598 * ; (g) * A Note 
of all suche goodes as I have bought for the Companey of my Lord 
Admirals men, sence the 3 of Aprell, 1598, as followeth ’. A comparison 
of the book-list with the diary payments makes it clear that ‘ 1598 ’ is 
159I and not i59|. The last book entered was bought in Aug. 1598. 
An undated inventory of Alleyn's private theatrical wardrobe is in Hens- 
lowe Papers , 52. 

2 It should be borne in mind that these lists are based in part upon 
a rather conjectural interpretation of evidence. Full details, for which 
I have not space, will be found in Henslowe, ii. 186 sqq. I have annotated 
a few points of interest. 



1 66 THE COMPANIES 

new plays. These, with the names of their authors, 
were : 

Mother Redcap (Drayton and Munday). 

Phaethon (Dekker). 

1 Robin Hood (Munday). 

2 Robin Hood (Chettle and Munday). 

The Triangle of Cuckolds (Dekker). 1 

The Welshman's Prize ) or, The Famous Wars of Henry 1 
and the Prince of Wales (Chettle, Dekker, and Drayton). 2 

1 Earl Godwin and his Three Sons (Chettle, Dekker, Drayton, 
and Wilson). 

2 Earl Godwin and his Three Sons (Chettle, Dekker, Drayton, 
and Wilson). 

King Arthur (Hathway). 

Love Prevented (Porter). 3 

A Woman will have her Will (Haughton). 

1 Black Bateman of the North (Chettle, Dekker, Drayton, 
and Wilson). 

2 Black Bateman of the North (Chettle and Wilson). 

The Madman's Morris (Dekker, Drayton, and Wilson). 

The Funeral of Rickard Coeur de Lion (Chettle, Drayton, 

Munday, and Wilson). 

Hannibal and Hermes (Dekker, Drayton, and Wilson). 4 

Valentine and Orson (Hathway and Munday). 

There is evidence of the actual performance of Mother 
Redcap , Phaethon (January), I and 2 Robin Hood (March), 
j Earl Godwin (April), King Arthur (May), 2 Earl Godwin 
(June), I Black Bateman (June). Properties were bought for 
The Madman's Morris, in July, and the next season probably 
opened with it. To the new plays must be added Friar 
Spendleton f produced as ‘ ne ’ on 31 October, and Dido and 
Aeneas . A loan of 30s. on 8 January ‘ when they fyrst played 
Dido at nyght ’ suggests a supper, not a night performance. 
Either play may have been purchased at the end of 1596-7, or 
may have come from Pembroke’s stock. The same applies to 
Branholt and Alice Pierce , which were probably new when 
properties were purchased for them in November and Decem- 
ber. The company also bought on 12 December two jigs 

1 So called in the book-inventory ; in the diary it is Triplicity of 
Cuckolds. 

2 The first name appears in the inventory, the second in the diary. 

3 Only £4 was paid * to by a boocke which is low for a new play and 
high for an old one. Possibly Porter was in debt to the company. 

4 Once described as ‘ other wisse called worsse feared then hurte \ 
whence Dr. Greg infers that the 1 598-9 play of that name was a second 
part of it. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 167 

from two young men, for which they paid 6s, 8d, Hardly 
any of the 1597-8 new plays are extant. The two parts of 
Robin Hood are The Downfall of Robert Earl of Huntingdon , 
and The Death of Robert Earl of Huntingdon , printed 
without Munday’s name as Admiral’s plays in 1601. Haugh- 
ton’s A Woman will have her Will was entered on the 
Stationers’ Register on 3 August 1601, and printed with the 
alternative title of Englishmen for my Money in 1616. Phaethon 
probably underlies Dekker and Ford’s The Sun's Darling , 
and it is a plausible conjecture of Mr. Fleay’s that Love 
Prevented may be J The Two Angry Women of Abingdon f 
printed as an Admiral’s play in 1599, and not to be traced 
elsewhere in the diary. The payments for four plays during 
the year, besides the puzzling A Woman will have her Will y were 
incomplete. I take it that the £2 paid to Chettle, Dekker, 
Drayton, and Wilson for Pierce of Exton was transferred to 
the account for 2 Earl Godwin , which otherwise lacks just 
that amount of the full £6 ; that Chettle failed to deliver 
A Woman's Tragedy ; that Chapman’s Isle of a Woman was 
held over until 1598-9 ; and that a projected tragedy of 
Ben Jonson’s was similarly held over, and then indefinitely 
postponed owing to the tragedy in real life of Spencer’s 
death. There are two entries with regard to this. On 
3 December 1597, Henslowe lent Jonson 20 s. 4 vpon a boocke 
which he showed the plotte vnto the company which he 
promysed to deliver vnto the company at Cryssmas next ’. On 
23 October 1598, a month after the duel, not Jonson, but 
Chapman, received £3 4 one his playe boocke & ij ectes of 
a tragedie of Bengemenes plotte ’. I think that Chapman’s 
own play was The Four Kings and that he finished it in 1599 ; 
but I see no sign that he ever did anything with 4 Bengemenes 
plotte ’. 

Of older plays the Admiral’s revived at the beginning of 
the year Chapman’s success of the previous spring, The 
Comedy of Humours ; also the perennial Dr, Faustus , and two 
pieces which, as they formed no part of the 1594-7 repertory, 
may have been brought in by Pembroke’s men, Hardicanute 
and Bourbon, They bought for £8 from Martin Slater 
I and 2 Hercules , Phocas , Pythagoras , and Alexander and 
Lodowick , all of which had been produced between May 1595 
and January 1597, and had evidently been retained by 
Slater when he left the company. These books presumably 
do not include that which became the subject of the law-suit 
between Slater and the Admiral’s men, and as they had 
afterwards to buy back some of their old books in a precisely 
similar way from Alleyn, it is probable that a retiring member 



THE COMPANIES 


168 

of the company had a right to claim a partition of the reper- 
tory. They also bought The Cobler of Queenhithe 1 and from 
Robert Lee, formerly of the Admiral’s men and afterwards 
of Queen Anne’s, The Miller . But of these seven purchased 
plays, the only one that they can be proved to have revived 
is one of the Hercules plays, for which they bought properties 
in July. The book-inventory shows that they had plays 
called Black Joan and Sturgflattery , 2 also possibly from 
Pembroke’s stock ; and the property-inventories that they 
had properties and clothes, if not in all cases books, 3 for The 
Battle of Alcazar 4 and for a number of pieces staged during 
x 594~7> including Mahomet , 5 Tamburlaine* The Jew of Malta , 1 
i Fortunatus , 8 The Siege of London , 9 Belin Dun , 10 Tasso's 
Melancholy 11 1 Caesar and Pompey 12 The Wise Man of West 
Chester , 13 The Set at Maw , 11 Olympo , 16 Henry V , 16 Longshanks 11 
Troy , 18 Vortigern , 19 Guido , 20 Vther Pendragon . 21 To these must 
be added Pontius Pilate , 22 revived in 1601 and perhaps from 
the Pembroke’s stock, and others now unidentifiable. 28 As 
the company revived The Blind Beggar of Alexandria in 
1601 they probably had this also. 24 

1 So in the book-inventory ; in the account it is only called The Cobler. 

2 Possibly Strange Flattery , but the manuscript is lost. 

3 They had to buy Mahomet, The Wise Man of West Chester, Long- 
shanks, and Vortigern from Alleyn in 1601 and 1602. 

4 ‘ the Mores lymes \ 4 iiij Turckes hedes ‘ j Mores cotte *. 

6 * iiij genesareys gownes ‘ owld Mahemetes head \ 

• * Tamberlyne brydell \ 4 Tamberlynes cotte, with coper lace 4 Tamber- 
lanes breches of crymson veil vet '. 

7 ‘ j cauderm for the Jewe \ 8 ‘ 3 tree of gowlden apelles ’. 

9 * j whell and frame m the Sege of London \ 

10 * Belendon stable ’. 11 ‘ Tasso picter ‘ Tasoes robe ’. 

12 4 senetores gowne * and * capes \ 13 ‘ Kents woden lea ge 

14 * j mawe gowne of calleco for the quene ’. 

16 * j sewtte for Nepton 4 Nepun forcke & garland \ 

18 * Harey the fyftes dublet ' and ‘ vellet gowne 4 j payer of hosse for 
the Dowlfyn \ 

17 4 j longe-shanckes sewte ’. 18 4 j great horse with his leages \ 

19 4 Vartemar sewtte 4 Valteger robe of rich tafitie 4 j payer of hosse 
& a gercken for Valteger 4 ij Danes sewtes, and ij payer of Danes hosse \ 

20 1 j tome of Guido ’, ‘ j cloth clocke of russete with coper lace, called 

Guydoes clocke \ 21 * Merlen gowne, and cape \ 

22 * my lord Caffes gercken & his hoose '. 

23 These include * Argosse head \ ‘ Andersones sewte ’, ‘ Will Sommfps 
sewtte \ 4 ij Orlates sewtes ’, 4 Cathemer sewte ’, 4 j Whittcomes dublett 
poke * Nabesathe sewte ', * j Hell mought ’, 4 the cloth of the Sone & 
Mone ', * Tantelouse tre \ 4 Eves bodeyes '. Probably 4 Perowes sewte 
which W m Sley were 4 dated back to the days of Strange’s men. After 

3 April 1598 Henslowe bought, inter alia, ‘a gown for Nembia ’ and 

4 a robe for to goo invisibell 

84 It looks as if the book-inventory were not exhaustive ; perhaps it 
only includes books more or less in current use. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 169 

The new plays purchased in 1598-9 were twenty-one in 
number : 

Pierce of Winchester (Dekker, Drayton, and Wilson). 

Hot Anger Soon Cold (Chettle, Jonson, and Porter). 

Chance Medley (Chettle or Dekker, Drayton, Munday, and 
Wilson). 1 

Worse Afeared than Hurt (Dekker and Drayton). 2 

1 Civil Wars of France (Dekker and Drayton). 

The Fount of New Fashions (Chapman). 3 

2 The Conquest of Brute , or, Brute Greenshield (Chettle). 4 

Connan y Prince of Cornwall (Dekker and Drayton). 

2 Civil Wars of France (Dekker and Drayton). 

3 Civil Wars of France (Dekker and Drayton). 

The Four Kings (Chapman). 5 

War without Blows and Love without Suit (Heywood). 6 

First Introduction of the Civil Wars of France (Dekker). 

2 Two Angry Women of Abingdon (Porter). 

Joan as Good as my Lady (Heywood). 

Friar Fox and Gillian of Brentford (Anon.). 

The Spencers (Chettle and Porter). 

Troy's Revenge and the Tragedy of Polyphemus (Chettle). 

Troilus and Cressida (Chettle and Dekker). 

Agamemnon , or, Orestes Furious (Chettle and Dekker). 7 

The World Runs on Wheels , or, All Fools but the Fool 
(Chapman). 8 

The property and licence entries only make it possible to 
trace the actual performance during the year of Pierce of 

1 There is a self-contradictory entry, * to paye vnto M r Willson Monday 
& Deckers . . . iiij 11 v 8 in this maner Willson xxx 8 Cheattell xxx 8 Mondy 
xxv 8 \ 

2 Regarded by Dr. Greg as 2 Hannibal and Hermes. 

3 I agree with Dr. Greg that this, for which Chapman had £4 in 1 598-9, 
is probably identical with The Isle of a Woman, for which he had had 
earnests of £4 or £4 105. in 1597-8. 

4 I think the play licensed as Brute Grenshallde in March 1599 was 
a second part written by Chettle to an old 1 Brute by Day, which would 
not need re-licensing. 

6 I do not see with what to identify the play licensed under this name 
in March 1599 except the unnamed ‘ playe boocke * and ‘ tragedie for 
which Chapman had something under £9 in the previous Oct. and Jan. 

6 The title War without Blows and Love without Strife in one entry is 
probably an error. 

7 I agree with Dr. Greg that the entries point to two plays by Chettle 
and Dekker rather than one. They are probably incomplete owing to 
the hiatus in the manuscript. 

8 Dr. Greg makes two plays of this, but the entry * his boocke called 
the world rones a whelles & now all foolles but the foolle ’ seems un- 
ambiguous, and the total payments of £& 10s. are not too high for a play 
by Chapman. 



170 


THE COMPANIES 


Winchester (October), I and 2 Civil Wars of France (October 
and November), The Fount of New Fashions (November), 
2 Angry Women of Abingdon (February), 2 Conquest of Brute 
(March), The Four Kings (March), The Spencers (April), and 
Agamemnon (June). Probably, in view of the extant frag- 
ment of a ‘ plot * Troilus and Cressida should be added. The 
production of Troy's Revenge was deferred until the following 
October. No one of this year’s new plays is extant, unless, 
as is possible, All Fools but the Fool was an early form of 
Chapman’s All Fools A Earnests were paid in the course of 
1598-9 for Catiline's Conspiracy (Chettle), Tis no Deceit to 
Deceive the Deceiver (Chettle), William Longsword 2 (Drayton), 
Two Merry Women of Abingdon (Porter), and an unnamed 
pastoral tragedy by Chapman, but there is no reason to 
suppose that any one of these was ever finished. On 9 August 
1598 Munday had 105. in earnest of an unnamed comedy 1 * * 4 for 
the corte ’ and Drayton gave his word for the book to be 
done in a fortnight, but the project must have been dropped, 
as the entry was cancelled. Of old plays the company 
revived in August Vayvode, in November The Massacre at 
Paris } in which Bird played the Guise, 3 in December I The 
Conquest of Brute , bought from John Day, and in March 
Alexander and Lodowick } bought from Martin Slater in the 
preceding year. As to Vayvode , the entries are rather puzzling. 
In August Chettle received £1 4 for his playe of Vayvode *, 
and the purchase of properties show that the production 
took place. But in the following January there was a payment 
of £ 2 to Alleyn 4 for the playe of Vayvod for the company *. 
Possibly Alleyn had some rights in the manuscript, which were 
at first overlooked. On 25 November Chettle had ios. 
4 for mendinge of Roben Hood for the corte ’. Either I or 
2 Robin Hood was therefore probably the play given on 
6 January 1599. At the beginning of the year the company 
bought Mulmutius Dunwallow from William Rankins and 
another old play called Tristram of Lyons , but it must be 
uncertain whether they played them. A reference in Guilpin’s 
Skialetheia suggests that The Spanish Tragedy may have 
been on the boards of the Rose not long before September 
I 59 & 4 

1 No importance can be attached to Mr. Fleay’s childish identifications 

of War without Blows and Love without Suit, Joan as Good as my Lady , 
and The Four Kings with The Thracian Wonder, Hey wood's A Maidenhead 
well Lost, and Sir Clyomon and Sir Clamydes respectively. 

* So called in Drayton's autograph receipt, but Henslowe calls it William 
Longbeard. 

8 Henslowe, i. 72, 78. 


4 Cf. ch. xv, s.v. Alleyn. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 


171 

The new plays completed during 1599-1600, twenty in 
all, were : 

The Gentle Craft (Dekker). 1 

Bear a Brain (Dekker). 2 

Page of Plymouth (Dekker and Jonson). 

Robert //, or, The Scot's Tragedy (Chettle, Dekker, Jonson, 
and Marston). 3 

The Stepmother's Tragedy (Chettle and Dekker). 

1 Sir John Oldcastle (Drayton, Hathway, Munday, and 
Wilson). 

Cox of Collumpton (Day and Haughton). 

2 Henry Richmond (Wilson). 

2 Sir John Oldcastle (Drayton, Hathway, Munday, and 
Wilson). 

Patient Grissell (Chettle, Dekker, and Haughton). 

The Whole History of Fortunatus (Dekker). 

Thomas Merry , or, Beech's Tragedy (Day and Haughton). 

Jugurtha (Boyle). 4 

The Seven Wise Masters (Chettle, Day, Dekker, and 
Haughton). 

F err ex and Porrex (Haughton). 

Cupid and Psyche , or, The Golden Ass (Chettle, Day, and 
Dekker). 

Damon and Pythias (Chettle). 

Strange News out of Poland (Haughton and Pett). 

1 Blind Beggar of Bethnal Green (Chettle and Day). 

I Fair Constance of Rome (Dekker, Drayton, Hathway, 
Munday, and Wilson). 

1 The only entry is of 15 July 4 to bye a boocke ’, but the hiatus in the 
manuscript probably conceals earlier payments. 

2 Here also the hiatus has only left an entry of £2 4 in full payment ’ 
on 1 Aug. Dr. Greg, however, would identify Bear a Brain and The 
Gentle Craft. 

3 The entries are as follows : 2 Sept., ‘ Thomas Deckers Bengemen 

Johnson Hary Chettell & other Jentellman in earneste of a playe calle 
Robart the second kinge of Scottes tragedie ' ; 15 Sept., ‘ in earneste 

of a boocke called the Scottes tragedi vnto Thomas Dickers & Harey 
Chettell ’ ; 16 Sept., 4 Hary Chettell . . . m earneste of a boocke called 
the Scottes tragedie * ; 27 Sept., 4 Bengemen Johnsone in earneste of 
a boocke called the Scottes tragedie * ; 28 Sept., ‘ vnto M r Maxton the 
new poete in earneste of a boocke called [blank] ’. Dr. Greg resists the 
fairly reasonable identification of 4 M r Maxton the new poete ’ with the 
‘ other Jentellman ’. All the payments are called earnests, but the total 
is £6 10s. and therefore the play probably existed. 

4 4 Lent vnto me W Birde the 9 of Februarye to paye for a new booke 
to Will Boyle cald Jugurth xxx 8 which if you dislike lie repaye it back/ 
The price is the lowest ever entered for a 4 new * book. Mr. Fleay’s sug- 
gestion that Will Bird, who already had one alias in Will Borne, was also 
himself Will Boyle, is one of those irresponsible guesses by which he has 
done so much to make hay of theatrical history. 



172 


THE COMPANIES 


It is possible to verify the actual performance of Page 
of Plymouth (September), I Sir John Oldcastle (November), 1 
Fortunatus (December), The Gentle Craft (January), Thomas 
Merry (January), Patient Grissell (January), 2 Sir John 
Oldcastle (March), The Seven Wise Masters (March), F err ex 
and Porrex (May), Damon and Pythias (May), Strange News 
out of Poland (May), Cupid and Psyche (June). Sir John 
Oldcastle must of course be regarded as a counterblast to the 
Henry IV plays of the Chamberlain’s men, in which the 
character of Falstaff originally bore the name of the Lollard 
hero. One infers that it had a considerable success, for the 
company gave 10s. for 4 Mr. Mundaye and the reste of the 
poets at the playnge of Sr John Oldcastell the ferste tyme *, 
and Henslowe notes in the margin that this was 4 as a gefte \ 
It is with some hesitation that I have included Fortunatus 
in the list of new plays, because it is impossible to suppose 
that it was not based upon the earlier Fortunatus , already 
an old play in 1596, of the properties of which the Admiral’s 
men certainly retained possession. But Dekker was paid 
on the scale of a new play, for he got a full £6 in the course 
of November for the book, together with an additional 
£1 4 for the altrenge of the boocke * and £2 a fortnight later 
4 for the eande of Fortewnatus for the corte \ I take it that 
this was the Court play of 27 December. That of 1 January 
was another of Dekker’s, The Gentle Craft , also called The 
Shoemaker's Holiday , which was published in the year 4 1600 * 
as played before the Queen 4 on New Year’s Day at night 
last ’ by the Admiral’s men. Fortunatus, 1 Sir John Oldcastle , 1 
Patient Grissell, and 1 Blind Beggar of Bethnal Green have 
also been preserved, while the publication, also in the course 
of the twelve months ending on 24 March 1601, of Look 
About You as an Admiral’s play must surely render plausible 
the hypothesis, rejected by Dr. Greg, of its identity with 
Bear a Brain. It would seem that Thomas Merry furnishes 
one of the two parallel plots of Robert Yarington’s Two 
Lamentable Tragedies , and a notice by Simon Forman suggests 
that Cox of Collumpton was ultimately finished. 2 An outline 
of the opening scenes of 2 Henry Richmond is among the Dul- 
wich papers. 3 Publication was a form of popularity which 
the actors were apt to resent. The Admiral’s men spent 
£2 on 18 March 1600 4 to geue vnto the printer to staye the 

1 Both parts were entered on the Stationers' Register, but no copy of 

2 Sir John Oldcastle is known. 

2 Bodl. Ashm. MS. 236, f. ( c . 1600), has Forman's note of the ‘ plai 

of Cox of Cullinton and his 3 sons, Henry Peter and Jhon \ 

3 Henslowe Papers, 49. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 


173 


printing of Patient Gresell This did not prevent the play 
being entered on the Stationers’ Register on 28 March, but 
does perhaps explain why the earliest known edition is dated 
1603. The unfinished plays of 1599-1600 were The Poor 
Man's Paradise (Haughton), The Orphans' Tragedy (Chettle), 1 
an unnamed Italian tragedy by Day, The Arcadian Virgin 
(Chettle and Haughton), Owen Tudor (Drayton, Hathway, 
Munday, and Wilson), Truth's Supplication to Candlelight 
(Dekker), 2 The Spanish Moor's Tragedy (Day, Dekker, and 
Haughton), 3 The English Fugitives (Haughton), The Devil 
and his Dame (Haughton), 4 The Wooing of Death (Chettle), 
Judas (Haughton), 5 2 Fair Constance of Rome (Hathway), 
and an unnamed play by Chettle and Day. 6 Except in so far 
as Fortunatus was an old play, I find no trace of a revival 
during 1599-1600, but it may be assumed that some of the 
productions of the last two years still held the boards. 

The year 1600 was another turning-point in the history of 
the company. Probably at some date between 14 August, 
when the first entry in a fresh account was made, and 28 Octo- 
ber, when Pembroke’s men were in occupation of the Rose, 
they crossed the river, and took up their quarters at Alleyn’s 
recently built Fortune, on the north-west boundary of the 
City. A more important event still was the return of Alleyn 
himself to the stage, from which he had been absent for three 
years. It is suggested in the Privy Council letter of 8 April 

1600 to the Middlesex justices in favour of the Fortune 
project, that this step was determined by the personal wish 
of the Queen to see the great actor at Court with his fellows 
again. 7 It is not quite clear on what terms he rejoined the 

1 This was taken up again in 1601, but still not finished. Dr. Greg, 
however, thinks that it is identical with Day's Italian tragedy, and forms 
half of Two Lamentable Tragedies (1601), and that Chettle’s work in 

1601 may have been the effecting of the combination with Thomas Merry. 

2 Dr. Greg, following Mr. Fleay, identifies this with Dekker’s Whore 
of Babylon, and as Time is a character in this play, cites the purchase of 
‘ a Robe for tyme ’ in April 1600 as a proof that it was then performed. 
Time, however, might also have been a character in The Seven Wise 
Masters. 

3 Possibly finished later and identical with the pseudo-Marlowesque 
Lust's Dominion. 

4 The payment-entry is cancelled. The play may have been finished 
for another company, and be identical with the extant Grim, the Collier 
of Croydon, or. The Devil and his Dame. 

6 Possibly the basis of Bird and Rowley’s Judas of 1601. 

6 It seems to me a little arbitrary of Dr. Greg to assume that the 10s. 
entered as an earnest for this was really a bonus on 1 The Blind Beggar 
of Bethnal Green. 

7 Henslowe Papers , 51. I do not think that Dr. Greg recognizes the 
full significance of this when he suggests (Henslowe, ii. 94) that Alleyn 



174 


THE COMPANIES 


company. There was a * composicion * or agreement, in 
connexion with which a payment of £4 was made to him on 
11 November. The next entry, which is undated, runs, 

‘ P d vnto my sonne Alleyn for the firste weckes playe the xj 
parte of xvij u ix 8 which came to therti & ij shellinges There 
are no further entries of the same kind until the date of 
a reckoning in February 1602, when Henslowe paid Alleyn 
275. 6 d. 4 dew to my sone out of the gallery money \ Probably 
this was a share of some small residue, the origin of which 
cannot now be traced. The earlier payment suggests that 
Alleyn received one full share of the actors’ takings, for, if 
I am right in supposing that the brothers Jeffes only held 
half a share each, there would have been just ten sharers 
besides himself. Or possibly his share may have been limited 
to the actors’ moiety of the gallery takings, and the outgoings 
may all have been charged to the receipts from the yard. 
Certainly Alleyn does not seem to have had any responsibility 
for these outgoings. His name is never put with those of 
other sharers to Henslowe’s periodical reckonings, and if 
his play-books were used, they were bought from him. On 
the other hand, he sometimes, although not so often as some 
of his. fellows, ‘ appointed ’ payments, and he received the 
Court money for the company, alike in 1601, 1602, and 1603. 
That his share did not pass through Henslowe’s hands after 
the date of the first instalment is perhaps explained by the 
assumption that, as the owner and joint occupier with 
Henslowe of the Fortune, the appointment of a 4 gatherer ’ 
for the gallery money may naturally have fallen to him. 

Some such change in the financial arrangements may also 
account for the fact that, while Henslowe’s record of advances 
continues on the same lines as that for 1597-1600, the notes 
of weekly repayments are now discontinued. As a result 
it is no longer possible to determine with any exactness the 
length of the theatrical seasons, since, naturally enough, 
the outgoings did not altogether stop while the house was 
closed. Their course, however, suggests intervals in February 
and March 1601, February to April 1602, August 1602 and 
January and February 1603. It is possible, although not 
very likely, that there was no cessation of playing during 
the summer of 1601. I find no evidence of further provincial 
travels before the end of the reign. These were, I think, 
years of prosperity. The players still required small personal 

was back on the stage by 1598 ; cf. my criticism in M. L. R. iv. 410. 
Dr. Greg relies mainly on the appearance of his name in the plot of The 
Battle of Alcazar, which, he says, ‘ almost certainly belongs to 1598 ’. 
But I can find no reason why it should not belong to 1600-2 ; cf. p. 175, 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 


175 


advances from time to time, and Thomas Towne was reduced 
to pawning a pair of stockings on 13 March 1602. 1 But it 
is noticeable that about the previous June Henslowe opened 
an account under the heading, ‘ Begininge to receue of thes 
meane ther privet deates which they owe vnto me *, and 
was able to enter in it a series of repayments by Jones, 
Downton, Bird, and Shaw. 2 Bird, however, still owed 
£10 10 s. on 12 March 1602, and Henslowe noted, 1 He is 
cleere of all debtes & demaundes except theis debtes and 
such stocke & covenentes as I maie clayme & challendge of 
him by reason of his coniunction with the companie \ 3 
Whether the playwrights reaped any benefit may be doubted. 
The tendency to a rise of prices which showed itself in 1599 
was hardly maintained. Some of them were still impecunious 
enough. The company had, on more than one occasion to 
redeem a play which the unfortunate Chettle had pawned 
with one Bromfield, a mercer ; and in March 1602 he seems 
to have followed Porter’s example and put his hand, for a 
consideration of £3, to an instrument binding him to write 
for them alone. 4 There were some legal troubles in the course 
of 1601. A sum of £21 10 s. had to be paid on a bond to a 
Mr. Treheren during March, and in August there were fees 
to a jury and a clerk of assizes. The company had also to 
find 10 s. in May 4 to geatte the boye into the ospetalle which 
was hurt at the Fortewne \ 5 Information as to the composition 
of the company at some time between Alleyn’s return and 
February 1602 is given by the ‘ plot * of The Battle of Alcazar , 
although, as this is mutilated, it must not be treated as 
negative evidence, and in particular the names of W. Borne 
and John Singer are missing. 6 All the other sharers, however, 
are found in it — ‘ Mr. Ed. Allen, Mr. Doughton, Mr. Juby, 
Mr. Shaa, Mr. Jones, Mr. Towne, Antony Jeffes, H. Jeffes, 
Mr. Charles [Massey], and Mr. Sam [Rowley] \ There are 
also Mr. Rich. Allen and Mr. Hunt, who were not sharers, 
but whose long service had apparently earned them the 

1 Henslowe, i. 56. 2 Ibid. 162. 3 Ibid. 141. 

4 Ibid. 144, 165, 174. 5 Ibid. 134, 136, 140, 147. 

6 Dr. Greg puts it in 1598, on the assumption that Alleyn returned to 
the stage in that year. It might conceivably belong to 1597. between 

18 Dec., when Bristow was bought, and 29 Dec., by which day Alleyn 
had left. It cannot be later than Feb. 1602, by which month Jones and 

Shaw had left. The prefix ‘ M r * allotted to Charles and Sam is in favour 
of a date after their agreements on 16 Nov. 1598. Dr. Greg's argument 

(Henslowe Papers , 138) that Kendall’s agreement expired 7 Dec. 1599 is 
not convincing, as there was nothing in it to prevent him from staying 
on, and the satire of the play in Jonson's Poetaster of 1601, to which he 
refers, obviously tells in favour of a date nearer to 1601 than 1598. 



176 


THE COMPANIES 


dignity of the 1 Mr.’, W. Kendall, Jeames, who was possibly 
Henslowe’s apprentice James Bristow and possibly Jones’s 
boy of the same name, and Dob, who was probably the Dobe 
of the 1598 inventory. The remaining names, all of which 
are new, are those of W. Cartwright, who, however, had 
witnessed a loan for Henslowe as far back as 21 April 1598, 1 
Dick Jubie, Ro. Tailor, George Somerset, Tho. Drum, [Thomas] 
Parsons, Harry, and the ‘ boys ’ of Mr. Allen and Mr. Towne. 
The only important woman’s part, that of Callipolis, is 
assigned by the 4 plot ’ to Pisano, which does not look like 
an actor’s name and may be a mistake. The services of 
Bristow were evidently leased out by Henslowe to the com- 
pany or some one of its members, at a rate of 3 s. a week. 
Antony Jeffes paid two weeks’ arrears ‘ for my boyes Jeames 
wages ’ in August 1600, and Henslowe charged the company 
£6 105. on the same account in the following February. 2 
Another boy attached to the company about the same time 
must have been 4 Nick ’, for whom hose 4 to tumbell in be 
fore the quen ’ were bought on 25 December 1601. Hugh 
Davis, for the mending of whose tawny coat ‘ which was 
eatten with the rattes ’ 6 s. yd. was paid in November 1601, 
was perhaps a hired man. A list of the responsible members 
of the company is attached by Henslowe to a reckoning 
cast between 7 and 23 February 1602. They were then 4 John 
Singer, Thomas Downton, William Byrd, Edward Juby, 
Thomas Towne, Humphrey Jeffs, Anthony Jeffs, Samuel 
Rowley, and Charles Massy ’. 3 A note is added that £50 had 
been advanced 4 to geve vnto Mr. Jonnes & Mr. Shaw at ther 
goinge a waye *. This departure must have been quite 
recent. Shaw had been agent for the company on the previous 
21 January, and the list of continuing members is in fact in 
his handwriting. The last instalment of Jones’s private debt 
had been paid off on 1 November. His three years’ agreement 
with Henslowe had expired at Michaelmas 1600. Richard 
Alleyn must have died in September 1602, for on the 19th 
of that month his widow borrowed £5 105. to take her mantle 
and sheet and face-cloth out of pawn. 4 Neither Shaw nor 
Jones nor Richard Alleyn is in the plot of 1 Tamar Cham , 
which may reasonably be assigned to a date in the vicinity 
of the purchase of the book from Alleyn on 2 October 1602. 
This is of interest, partly because it is complete, and partly 
because there was a procession in the play, and the number 
of supernumeraries required must have tried the resources 


1 Henslowe, i. 38. 

3 Ibid. 164. 


2 Ibid. 131, 134. 
4 Ibid. 205. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 


177 


of the establishment to their utmost. All the principal 
members of the company appeared — ‘ Mr. Allen, Mr. Denygten, 
Mr. Boorne, Mr. Towne, Mr. Singer, Mr. Jubie, H. Jeffs, 
A. Jeffs, Mr. Charles [Massey], and Mr. Sam [Rowley] ’ ; 
and in addition Dick Jubie, W. Cart [wright], George [Somer- 
set], Tho. Parsons, and Jeames [Bristow], who were in The 
Battle of Alcazar , and W. Parr, Tho. Marbeck, Jack Grigorie, 
Gedion, Gibbs, Tho. Rowley, Rester, * old Browne ’, Ned 
Browne, * the red fast fellow * and several boys, described, 
perhaps in some cases twice over, as Jack Jones, 1 little Will *, 

‘ little Will Barne ’, who do not seem to be identical, 1 Gils 
his boy ’, * Mr. Denyghtens little boy ’, perhaps the same 
already recorded in 1600, and 1 the other little boy ’. * Old 

Browne ’ can hardly be Robert Browne, who seems to have 
been in Germany ; but Ned Browne may be the Edward 
Browne who, like Robert, was a member of Worcester’s 
company in 1583. Little is added by the only other extant 
‘ plot ’, the fragmentary one of 2 Fortune's Tennis . This 
is difficult to date, but it must be later than Dekker’s 1 For- 
tune's Tennis of September 1600, and may not improbably 
be Munday’s Set at Tennis of December 1602. The few names 
which it contains — Mr. Singer, Sam, Charles, Geo[rge Somerset], 
R. Tailor, W. Cartwright, Pavy — suggest proximity to The 
Battle of Alcazar and 1 Tamar Cham . The only fresh one is 
that of Pavy, who may or may not be connected with the 
Salathiel Pavy of Ben Jonson’s epitaph. Both 1 Tamar Cham 
and 2 Fortune's Tennis must be earlier than January 1603, 
a month which saw the retirement of the old Queen’s man, 
John Singer. So at least may be inferred from the fact that 
he makes no further appearance in the diary after 13 January, 
when he received £5 * for his play called Syngers Vallentarey *. 
I take ‘vallentarey’ to mean ‘valediction’. His name is 
absent from the next list of the company, which belongs to 
1604. He probably left to become an ordinary Groom of the 
Chamber in the royal household, a post which he is found 
occupying at the time of Elizabeth’s funeral. 1 

The succession of new plays was not quite so rapid during 
1600-3 as in previous periods. I can only trace thirty-one 
in all, as against fifty-five in 1594-7 and sixty-two in 1599- 
1600. It may well have been the case that Alleyn, who had 
‘ created ’ parts in the ’eighties and early ’nineties, had 
a tendency towards revivals. For 1600-1 the company 
bought only seven new books. These were : 

I Fortune's Tennis (Dekker). 

Hannibal and Scipio (Hathway and Rankins). 

1 Cf. ch. x. 

N 


222Q*2 



178 


THE COMPANIES 


Scogan and Skelton (Hathway and Rankins). 

AU is not Gold that Glisters (Chettle). 

2 Blind Beggar of Bethnal Green (Day and Haughton). 

The Six Yeomen of the West (Day and Haughton). 

King Sebastian of Portugal (Chettle and Dekker). 

None of these plays is extant, but the purchase of pro- 
perties testifies to the performance of 2 Blind Beggar of 
Bethnal Green in April and The Six Yeomen of the West in 
July. Moreover, Day received a bonus of 10s. between 
27 April and 2 May ‘ after the playinge of * the former piece. 
Only £1 was paid for J Fortune's Tennis , but the existence of 
a 4 plot * for 2 Fortune's Tennis suggests that it must have 
been completed. Probably it was a short topical overture 
designed to celebrate the opening of the Fortune. 1 Unfinished 
plays were Robin Hood's Pennyworths (Haughton) 2 and The 
Conquest of Spain by John of Gaunt (Hathway and Rankins). 
The revivals included Phaethon (January), The Blind Beggar 
of Alexandria (May), and The Jew of Malta (May). Dekker 
had £2 for ‘ al tery nge of * Phaethon for the Court, and this was 
therefore the Admiral’s play of 6 January 1601. They also 
appeared on 28 December and 2 February. Dr. Faustus was 
entered on 7 January ; the earliest print (1604) bears their name. 
The new books of 1601-2 were fourteen in number, as follows : 8 

The Conquest of the West Indies (Day, Haughton, and Smith). 

3 Blind Beggar of Bethnal Green (Day and Haughton). 

The Life of Cardinal Wolsey (Chettle). 4 

1 The Six Clothiers (Hathway, Pfaughton, and Smith). 

The Rising of Cardinal Wolsey (Chettle, Drayton, Munday, 
and Smith). 

Friar Rush and the Proud Woman of Antwerp (Chettle, Day, 
and Haughton). 

Judas (Bird and Rowley). 5 

1 The entry is ‘ Thomas Deckers for his boocke caUed the fortewn tenes ’ 
Collier read ‘ forteion tenes ’ and interpreted Fortunatus. Mr. Fleay fur- 
nished the alternatives of Fortune's Tennis and Hortenzo’s Tennis. I should 
add that Dr. Greg assigns the ‘ plot ’ to this play. 

a Dr. Greg thinks that this may be the same as Haughton’s The English 
Fugitives of the previous April. If so, it was probably finished, as the 
payments amount to £ 6 . 

8 As the account of advances is continuous, I have drawn the line 
between 1 600-1 and 1601-2 at the beginning of Aug. 1601. 

4 The Life became 2 Cardinal Wolsey, as The Rising, although written 
later, was historically 1 Cardinal Wolsey. The entries are complicated. 
It is just possible that the playwrights were working on an old play, for 
the property-inventories of 1 598 include an unexplained 1 Will Sommers 
sewtte ' (cf. p. 168). A 'W“ Someres cotte' was, however, bought for 
The Rising on 27 May 1602. 

8 Possibly based on Haughton's unfinished play of 1600. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 179 

Too Good to be True (Chettle, Hathway, and Smith), 

Malcolm King of Scots (Massey). 

Love Parts Friendship (Chettle and Smith). 

Jephthah (Dekker and Munday). 

Tobias (Chettle). 

The Bristol Tragedy (Day). 

Caesar's Fall , or, The Two Shapes (Dekker, Drayton, 
Middleton, Munday, and Webster). 

At least ten of these appear to have been played: 2 Cardinal 
Wolsey (August), 3 Blind Beggar of Bethnal Green (September), 
Judas (January), The Conquest of the West Indies (January), 
Malcolm King of Scots (April), Love Parts Friendship (May), 

1 Cardinal Wolsey (June), Jephthah (July), and at uncertain 
dates, Tobias and probably The Bristol Tragedy A None is 
now extant. The unfinished plays were The Humorous Earl 
of Gloucester with his Conquest of Portugal (Wadeson), 2 Tom 
Dough 1 2 (Day and Haughton), The Orphan's Tragedy (Chettle), 3 

2 The Six Clothiers (Hathway, Haughton, and Smith), 4 The 
Spanish Fig (Anon.), 5 Richard Crookback (Jonson), 6 A Danish 
Tragedy (Chettle), 7 and A Medicine for a Curst Wife (Dekker). 8 
There was considerable activity of revival during the year. 
Six old plays belonging to the 1594-7 repertory, for some of 
which the company already held the properties, 9 were bought 

1 A note preserved at Dulwich (Henslowe Papers, 58) indicates that 
licensing fees were in arrear on 4 Aug. 1602 for ‘ baxsters tragedy, Tobias 
Comedy, Jepha Judg of Israel & the Cardinall, Loue parts frendshipp \ 
But of course Warner’s identification of ' baxsters tragedy ’ with The 
Bristol Tragedy is conjectural. 

2 There is no J Tom Dough , unless this was an intended sequel to The 
Six Yeomen of the West. 

3 Already begun by Chettle in 1599. 

4 This may be identical with 1 The Six Clothiers , which is not called 
by Henslowe a ‘ first part *, if, as is possible, that was a sequel to The 
Six Yeomen of the West. 

5 Possibly finished later as Dekker and Rowley's The Noble Spanish 
Soldier . But it may have been an old play re-written, for C. R. Baskervill 
(M. P. xiv. 16) quotes from the preface to H. O.’s translation of Vasco 
Figueiro’s Spaniard's Monarchie (1592), * albeit it hath no title fetched 
from the Bull within Bishopsgate, as a figge for a Spaniard *. 

6 I suppose this was unfinished. The only entry is on 22 June 1602, 
* vnto Bengemy Johnsone ... in earneste of a boocke called Richard 
Crockbacke & for new adicyons for Jeronymo the some of x u ’. Jonson 
had already had £2 on 25 Sept. 1601 * vpon his writtinge of his adicians 
in Geronymo \ Unless Richard Crookback was nearly complete, his prices 
must have risen a good deal. 

7 Possibly finished later as Hoffman (1631). 

8 The <£4 paid was cancelled and then reinstated, but the book was 
evidently transferred to Worcester’s men (cf, p. 227), 

9 Cf. p. 168. 


N 2 



180 THE COMPANIES 

from Alleyn at £2 each, Mahomet in August, The Wise Man 
of West Chester in September, Vortigern in November, and 
The French Doctor , The Massacre at Paris , and Crack Me this 
Nut in January. The first and the last three of these certainly 
were played, and the revival of The Massacre at Paris appears 
to have caused annoyance to Henri IV. 1 In addition, pro- 
perties were bought for one of the Hercules plays in December, 
Dekker got 105. for a prologue and epilogue to Pontius 
Pilate 2 in January, and Jonson wrote additions to The Spanish 
Tragedy , possibly those now extant, in September, although 
it may be doubted whether the further additions contemplated 
in the following June were ever made. There is nothing to 
show what was selected, other than Nick’s tumbling, for the 
Admiral’s only Court play of 1601-2, which took place on 
27 December. 

The season of 1602-3 was, of course, shortened by the 
death of Elizabeth and the outbreak of plague. The new 
plays numbered nine. They were : 

Samson (Anon.). 

Felmelanco (Chettle and Robinson). 

Joshua (Rowley). 

Randal Earl of Chester (Middleton). 

Merry as May Be (Day, Hathway, and Smith). 

The Set at Tennis (Munday). 

1 The London Florentine (Chettle and Heywood). 

Singer's Voluntary (Singer). 

The Boss of Billingsgate (Day, Hathway, and another). 3 

It must be added that in September properties were bought 
for a * new playe ’ called The Earl of Hertford , which it seems 
impossible to identify with any of the pieces bought. This 
looks like one of the rare cases in which payment did not 
pass through Henslowe’s hands. This and Samson are the 
only new plays of the year, the actual performance of which 
can be verified ; and none of these plays is extant. 4 I suspect, 
however, that Munday’s Set at Tennis is the 2 Fortune's 
Tennis of which a ‘ plot ’ survives. The payment, of only £3, 
was * in full ’, and it may, like 1 Fortune's Tennis y have been 
a short piece of some exceptional character, motived by the 
name of the theatre in which it was presented. Unfinished 

1 Cf. vol. i, p. 323. The Massacre was printed (n.d.) as an Admiral’s play. 

2 The conjectural rendering of Henslowe's ‘ ponesciones pillet ’ finds 

support from the presence of garments for * Caffes ' or Caiaphas in the 
inventory of 1598 ; cf. p. 168. 

8 A payment to ‘ John Daye & his felowe poetes * implies at least three 
collaborators. 4 For Samson cf. p. 367. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 181 

• 

plays at the end of the season were The Widow's Charm 
(Munday or Wadeson), 1 William Cartwright (Haughton), 
Hoffman (Chettle), 2 2 London Florentine (Chettle and Hey- 
wood), The Siege of Dunkirk and Alleyn the Pirate (Massey). 
The revival of old plays continued. Costumes for Vortigern y 
one of those bought from Alleyn in the previous year, were 
in preparation during September, and Alleyn’s stock yielded 
three more, Philip of Spain and Longshanks in August and 
Tamar Cham y probably the second part, as the extant ‘ plot ’ 
testifies, in October. The last two of these belonged to the 
Admiral’s repertory of 1594-7, but the origin of Philip of 
Spain is unknown. A book of The Four Sons of Aymon y for 
which £2 was paid to Robert Shaw, was probably also old, 
and was bought on condition that Shaw should repay the 
£2, unless the play was used by the Admiral’s or some other 
company with his consent by Christmas 1604. Bird and 
Rowley had £4 in September for additions to Dr . Faustus. 
Dekker completed some alterations of Tasso's Melancholy , 
another 1594-7 play, in December, and in the same month 
Middleton wrote 4 for the corte ’ a prologue and epilogue to 
Greene’s Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay y which I should 
suppose to have been Henslowe’s property, as it was played 
by Strange’s men in 1592-3 and the Queen’s and Sussex’s 
in 1594. This probably served for the first of the three 
appearances made by the Admiral’s at Court, on 27 December. 
The other two were on 6 March and on a date unspecified. 
For one of these occasions Chettle was writing a prologue 
and epilogue at the end of December, but the play is not 
named. 3 One of the new plays, Merry as May Be y was intended 
for Court, when the first payment on account of it was made 
on 9 November. 

On 12 March 1603 Henslowe practically closes the detailed 
record which he had kept continuously in his diary since 
October 1597 of his financial transactions, otherwise than by 
way of rent, with the Admiral’s men. A brief review of these 
is not without interest. 4 His advances from 21 October 1597 
to 8 March 1598 amounted to £46 ys. 3^., and to this he took 
the signatures of the company, with the note, 4 Thes men 
dothe aknowlege this deat to be dewe by them by seatynge 

1 All four entries merely show the payments as made to 'Antony the 
poyete \ 

2 Finished later and extant ; probably identical with the Danish Tragedy 
of 1601-2. 

8 I suppose that it was the play which Chettle * layd vnto pane ' to 
Mr. Bromfield, and which had to be redeemed for £1 (Henslowe, i. 174). 

4 The more so as I do not think that Dr. Greg’s survey in Henslowe. 
ii. 135, is accurate. 



1 82 


THE COMPANIES 


# 

of ther handes to yette ’. By 28 July a further amount of 
£120 15 s. 4 d. had been incurred, making a total of £166 175. yd. 
for 1597-8. 1 During the same period he entered weekly 
receipts from the company to a total of £125. These must have 
gone to an old debt, for he did not balance them with the 
payments for the year, but carried on the whole debit of 
£166 175. yd. to 1598-9. Apparently, however, he was not 
satisfied with the way in which expenditure was outstripping 
income, for he headed a new receipts account, 4 Here I begyne 
to receue the wholle gallereys frome this daye beinge the 
29 of July 1598 ’, and the weekly entries become about double 
what they were during 1597-8. On the other hand, there is 
also a considerable increase in the rate of expenditure. It 
is an ingenious and, I think, sound conjecture of Dr. Greg’s, 
that throughout 1594-1603 Henslowe was taking half the 
gallery money for rent, and that, at different times, he also 
took either the other half, or another quarter only, to recoup 
himself for his advances. 2 The outgoings entered during 
1598-9 reach £435 ys. 4 d., but some items for March and 
April 1599 are probably missing, owing to a mutilation of 
the manuscript. 3 The receipts for the same period were 
£358 3$. On 13 October 1599, about a fortnight after the 
beginning of the 1599-1600 season, a balance was struck. 
Henslowe credited the company with the £358 received from 
the gallery money, and debited them with £632 advanced 
by him. This includes £166 1 ys. yd . for 1597-8, £435 ys. 4 d. 
for 1598-9, and £29 15 s. id., which may reasonably be taken 
as the sum of the missing entries for March and April 1599. 
The balance of £274 remained as a debt from the company. 
They did not, however, set their hands to a reckoning until 
the end of the next year, on 10 July 1600. During 1599-1600 
a fresh account had been running, on which Henslowe’s 
receipts were £202 10 s. and his payments £222 5 s. 6 d. 
At the reckoning the company’s indebtedness is calculated 
at £300, and is admitted by the formula, 4 which some of 
three hundred powndes we whose names are here vnder 
written doe acknowledge our dewe debt & doe promyse 
payment \ To this their signatures are appended. There 
is, however, an unexplained discrepancy of £6 4 s. 6 d., as the 

1 Henslowe made the total ^167 ys. yd., but evidently the error was 
detected, as only £166 17s. yd. was carried forward. 

2 Henslowe, ii. 133. Apparently Henslowe reverted to the plan of 
deducting three-quarters only, at the beginning of 1599-1600, but only 
for a fortnight, as the receipts from 20 Oct. are headed, ‘ Heare I begane 
to receue the gallereys agayne which they receued begynynge at Myhellmas 
wecke being the 6 of October 1599’. 

3 I have disregarded an error of 15s. made by Henslowe. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 183 

old debt of £274 and the 1599-1600 debit balance of £19 15 s. 6 d. 
only make up £293 155. 6 d. 

From 16.00 onwards there are no records of receipts. A 
continuous account of payments is kept up to 7 February 
1602. The total amounts to £304 105. 4 d. f but Henslowe 
sums it in error as £308 6s . 4 d. y and notes, 4 Frome ther 
handes to this place is 3o8 u -o6 s -04 d dewe vnto me & with the 
three hundred of owld is £6o8-o6-04 d \ He then adds the 
£50 paid to Jones and Shaw on retirement, * which is not 
in this recknynge \ Above this summary comes a list of 
names, said by Dr. Greg to be in Shaw’s hand, of those sharers 
who were continuing in the company, headed by the figures 
‘ 211. 9. o.’ I think the interpretation is that £386 175. 4 d. 
of the £608 6s. 4 d. was paid out of gallery money or other 
sources, leaving £211 9 s. f together with the £50 for Jones 
and Shaw, chargeable on the company. This is borne out 
by the remnant of the accounts, which is headed, 4 Begininge 
with a new recknyng with my lord of Notingames men the 
23 daye of Febreary 1601 as foloweth ’. The expenditure on 
this new reckoning up to 12 March 1603 was, as calculated 
by Henslowe, £188 us. 6d., and he adds to this total a sum 
of £211 9 s. 4 vpon band *, being evidently the residue of 
the debt as it stood at the close of the old reckoning, and 
makes a total of £400 05 . 6d. This, with the £50 for Jones 
and Shaw, was no doubt what the company owed when the 
detailed account in the diary closed. There was, however, 
an unstated amount of gallery receipts during 1602-3 to set 
against it ; and in fact a retrospect of the whole series of 
figures shows that there would have been a pretty fair 
equivalence of gallery money and advances throughout, but 
for the exceptionally heavy expenditure of 1598-9, £465 2 s. 5 d. 
in all, which left the company saddled with an obligation 
which they never quite overtook. This expenditure was 
more than half the total expenditure of £854 55. 6 d. for the 
triennium 1597-1600, and nearly as much as the whole 
expenditure of £493 is. lod. for the triennium 1600-3, during 
which it may be suspected that the business capacities of 
Alleyn brought about considerable economies. 

The accounts may be looked at from another point of view. 
If the unanalysable sum of £29 155. id. for the missing items 
of March and April 1599 be neglected, there was a total 
expenditure for the six years of £1,317 us. 3 d. Of this 
£652 135. 8d. y being about half, went in payments in respect of 
play-books ; £561 is. id. for properties and apparel ; and 
£103 165. 6 d. in miscellaneous outgoings, such as licensing 
fees, legal charges, musical instruments, travelling expenses, 



184 THE COMPANIES 

merry-makings and the like. Thus, if the company supped 
together at Mr. Mason’s of the Queen’s Head, or met to read 
a * book * at the Sun in New Fish Street, Henslowe would put 
his hand into his pocket to pay the score, and would not 
forget afterwards to debit the company with the amount in 
his diary. 1 It must, of course, be borne in mind that only 
part of this miscellaneous expenditure was incurred through 
Henslowe. He certainly did not, for example, pay all the 
fees for the licensing of new plays by the Master of the Revels. 
And of course there were many matters, in particular the 
wages of hired actors and servitors, for which the company 
had regularly to find funds in other ways. It is probable 
that only play-books, properties, and apparel were normally 
charged to his account, although the convenience of an 
occasional extension of his functions can readily be under- 
stood. Dr. Greg may be right in thinking that his position 
as agent for the company in its purchases was a natural 
development of his pawnbroking business. 2 But during the 
period under review he did not, as a rule, supply them with 
goods himself. A sale of ‘A shorte velluett clocke wraght 
with bugell & a gearcken of velluet layd with brade coper 
sylver lace’ for £4 on 28 November 1598 was exceptional. 
Usually the payments are to tradesmen, to the mercers 
Stone, Richard Heath, and Robert Bromfield, to ‘ him at the 
Eagell and Chylld ’ for armour, to Mrs. Gosson for head- 
tires, and for wigs to one Father Ogle, who is mentioned 
also in the Revels Accounts and in the play of Sir Thomas 
More . Sometimes ready-made garments, new or second- 
hand, were bought A doublet and hose of sea-water green 
satin cost £3 and a doublet and * venesyons ’ of cloth of 
silver wrought with red silk £4 10 s. But often stuffs were 
obtained in piece and made up by tailors, of whom the 
company employed two, Dover and Radford, the latter 
known, for the sake of distinction, as * the little tailor ’. 
These and William White, who made the crowns, probably 
worked at the theatre, in the tiring-house. The company 
gave 6 s . a yard for russet broadcloth and the same for 
murrey satin, 12$. for other satins, 12 s. 6 d. for taffeties, and 
no less than £1 for ‘ ij pylle velluet of carnardyn \ Laces 
cost id. each ; copper lace anything from 4 s. a pound to is. 2 d. 
an ounce. Of this they used quantities, and in the summer of 
1601 they had run up a considerable 4 old debt * to the copper 
lace-man, as well as another to Heath the mercer, which 
had to be paid off by degrees. The more expensive garments, 


1 Henslowe, i. 85, 145. 


2 Ibid. ii. 33. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 185 

such as a rich cloak bought of Langley for £19, were, of course, 
an investment on the part of the company, and were worn 
in their time by many sharers and hired men in different 
parts. But the principal actors had also, as Alleyn’s inventory 
shows, their private wardrobes. Henslowe was prepared to 
furnish these on the instalment system. Thus Richard 
Jones bought in 1594 ‘ a manes gowne of pechecoler in 
grayne ’ for £3 payable in weekly sums of 5 s., and Thomas 
Towne in 1598 4 a blacke clothe clocke layd with sylke lace * 
for 26 s. 8d. at is. weekly. It was as hard to keep these 
glories as to procure them. On one occasion the company 
came to the rescue and lent Thomas Downton £12 10 s., 
to fetch out of pawn two cloaks, 4 which they exsepted into 
the stock ’. The one was 4 ashecolerd velluet embradered 
with gowld ’, the other 4 a longe black velluet clocke layd 
with sylke lace ’. x 

The termination of the record of advances after 12 March 
1603 indicates an interruption of performances, probably 
due to the increasing illness of Elizabeth, who died on the 
following 24 March. Thereafter there are only a few winding- 
up entries in the diary. The company must have immediately 
begun to travel under the leadership of Thomas Downton, 
who in the course of 1602-3 received a gift for them from 
the Corporation of Canterbury, 4 because it was thought fitt 
they should not play at all, in regard that our late Queene 
was then very sicke or dead as they supposed ’. London 
playing, if resumed at all, must have very soon been stopped 
again by the plague. There was some further small expendi- 
ture, of which the details are not given, before Henslowe 
noted that, in addition to the bond for £211 9 s. } 4 Ther 
reasteth dew vnto me to this daye beinge the v daye of Maye 
1603 when we leafte of playe now at the Kynges cominge 
all recknynges abated the some of a hundred fowerscore 
& sevntenepowndes & thirteneshellynges & fowerpence I 
saye dew — £197 13s. 4 d. the fyftye powndes which Jonnes 
& Shawe had at ther goinge a way not reconed *. The 
company travelled again during the plague, being traceable 
as the Admiral’s men in 1602-3 at Bath and York and on 
18 August 1603 at Leicester, and as the Earl of Nottingham’s 
in 1602-3 at Coventry. The tour was over by 21 October, 
on which date Joan Alleyn wrote to her husband at the 
house of Mr. Chaloner in Sussex, telling him amongst other 
things that 4 all of your owne company ar well at theyr owne 
houses ’, that all the other companies had returned, that 

1 Henslowe, i. 29, 47, 81, 96, 97, 118, 124, 136, 138, 144, 146, 148, 152, 
*53» 166, 172, &c. 



1 86 


THE COMPANIES 


4 Nicke and Jeames be well ', and that 4 Browne of the 
Boares head ’ had not gone into the country at all, and was 
now dead, 4 & dyed very pore \ This might be either Edward 
Browne, or the 4 old Browne ’ who appeared with him in 
I Tamar Cham in the previous autumn. In any case, it is 
clear from the reference to him that he was not a regular 
member of Alleyn’s company. 4 Jeames ’ is no doubt James 
Bristow, who, as Henslowe’s apprentice, would be likely to 
form part of his household ; and 4 Nicke ’, who seems to have 
been in the same position, may be supposed to be the Nick 
who tumbled before the Queen at Christmas 1601. 

The Jacobean records of the company seem meagre in 
the absence of Henslowe’s detailed register of proceedings. 
About Christmas 1603 they were taken into the service of 
Prince Henry, and are hereafter known as the Prince’s 
players. 1 They are entered amongst other 4 Officers to the 
Prince ’ as receiving four and a half yards of red cloth 
apiece as liveries for the coronation procession on 15 March 
1604, and their names are given as 4 Edward Allen, William 
Bird, Thomas Towne, Thomas Dowton, Samuell Rowley, 
Edward Jubie, Humfry Jeffes, Charles Massey, and Anthony 
Jeffes \ 2 Alleyn, even if not a 4 sharer ’, was therefore a 
member of the company in its official capacity. He is also 
named as the Prince’s servant, both in the printed account 
of the entertainment at which, dressed as a Genius, he 
delivered a speech, and in Stowe’s description of a bear- 
baiting which formed part of the festivities. 3 It may, however, 
be inferred that he took an early opportunity of leaving 
a profession to which he had only been recalled by the personal 
whim of the late Queen. 4 He was joint payee with Juby in 
the warrant of 19 February, but Juby’s name stands alone in 
another of 17 April and in those of all subsequent years up 
to 1615. And when the company received a formal licence 
by patent on 30 April 1606, Alleyn’s name was omitted, 
and does not appear in any further list of its members. It 
is true that as late as 11 May 1611 he is still described in 
a formal document as the Prince’s servant, but he may have 
held some other appointment, actual or honorific, in the 
household. 6 A note of his resources about 1605, however, 

1 The exact date is uncertain, as they do not appear to have had 
a patent until 1606 ; but it must lie between their visit to Leicester as 
the Admiral's on 18 Aug. 1603 and the making out of a warrant to them 
as the Prince's men on 19 Feb. 1604 for their Christmas plays. 

2 N. Sh. Soc. Trans. (1877-9), 1 7 *» from Lord Chamberlain's Books , 58®. 

3 Cf. ch. xvi (Hope). 

4 On the legend that he had developed moral scruples about the stage, 

cf. s.v. Marlowe, Dr. Faustus. 6 Henslowe Papers , 18. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 


187 


includes ‘ my share of aparell, £100 \ x And he certainly 
remained interested in the company. They were his tenants 
at the Fortune, although an unexecuted draft of a lease to 
Thomas Downton dated in 1608 suggests that he may have 
taken steps to transfer the whole or a share of his direct 
interest to them. Under this lease Downton was to receive 
during thirteen years a thirty-second part of the daily 
profits accruing to Henslowe and Alleyn, and in return to 
pay £27 1 os., a rent of 10s. annually and his proportionate 
share of repairs, and to bind himself to play in the house 
and not elsewhere without consent. 2 On 11 April 1612 Robert 
Browne is found writing to Alleyn on behalf of one Mr. Rose, 
lately * entertayned amongst the princes men to request 
his interest as one * who he knowes can strike a greter stroke 
amongst them then this ’ to procure him a ‘ gathering place * 
for his wife. 3 Another letter from Bird to Alleyn, also about 
a gatherer, is amusing enough to quote in full. It is undated. 

‘ Sir there is one Jhon Russell, that by yowr apoyntment was made 
a gatherer w th vs, but my fellowes finding often falce to vs, haue many 
tymes wamd him ffrom taking the box. And he as often, with moste 
damnable othes, hath vowde neuer to touch, yet not with standing his 
execrable othes, he hath taken the box, & many tymes moste vncon- 
sionablye gathered, for which we haue resolued he shall neuer more 
come to the doore ; yet for your sake, he shall haue his wages, to be a 
nessessary atendaunt on the stage, and if he will pleasure himself and 
vs, to mend our garmentes, when he hath leysure, weele pay him 
for that to. I pray send vs word if this motion will satisfie you ; for 
him his dishonestye is such we knowe it will not, Thus yealding our 
selues in that & a farr greater matter to be comaunded by you I 
committ you to god. Your loving ffrend to comaunde. W Birde.’ 4 


With the exception of Alleyn, all the players of the 1604 
list and no others appear in the patent of 1606, the text of 
which follows : 5 


De concessione licenciae 
pro Thoma Downton 
et aliis. 


lames by the grace of God &c. To all Iustices, 
Maiors, Sheriffes, bailiffes, Constables, head- 
boroughes and other our officers and loving 
subiectes greeting. Knowe ye that wee of 
our especiall grace, certaine knowledge, and meere mocion haue 
licenced and auctorized, and by theis presentes doe licence and aucto- 
rize Thomas Downton, Thomas Towne, William Byrde, Edwarde Iuby, 
Samuell Rowle, Humfrey Ieffes, Charles Massey, and Anthonie Ieffes, 
Servauntes to our dearest sonne the Prince, and the rest of theire 


1 Dulwich MS. iii. 15. 

2 Henslowe Papers , 13 ; cf. ch. xvi, s.v. Fortune. 

3 Henslowe Papers , 63. 4 Ibid. 85. 

5 M . S. C. i. 268, from P. R. 4 Jac. I, pt. 19 ; also printed by T. E. 
Tomlins, and dated in error 1607, in Sh . Soc . Papers , iv. 42. 



THE COMPANIES 


t88 

Associates to vse and exercise the arte and facultie of playing Com- 
medies, Tragedies, Histories, Enterludes, Moralls, Pastoralls, Stage- 
playes, and such other like as they haue alreadie studied or hereafter 
shall vse or studie, aswell for the recreacion of our loving subiectes, 
as for our solace and pleasure when wee shall thincke good to see them, 
during our pleasure, And the said Commedies, Tragedies, histories, 
Enterludes, Moralls, pastoralls, stageplaies, and suche like to shewe 
and exercise publiquelie to their best Commoditie, aswell within theire 
nowe vsuall house called the Fortune within our Countie of Middlesex, 
as alsoe within anie Towne halls or Moutehalls or other convenient 
places within the libertie and ffredome of anie other Cittie, vniversitie, 
Towne, or Boroughe whatsoever, within our Realmes and Domynions, 
willing and Commaunding you and everie of you, as you tender our 
pleasure, not onelie to permitt and suffer them herein without anie 
your lettes, hindraunces, or molestacions during our saide pleasure, 
but alsoe to be aiding and assisting vnto them yf anie wrong be to 
them offered, And to allowe them such former curtesies as hath been 
given to men of theire place and quallitie, And alsoe what further 
favour you shall shewe vnto them for our sake wee shall take kindelie 
at your handes. Prouided alwaies, and our will and pleasure ys, that 
all auctoritie, power, priuiledges, and profittes whatsoever belonging 
and properlie appertaining to the Maister of our Revells in respecte 
of his office, and everie Clause, article, or graunte conteined within 
the letteres patentes or Commission, which haue heretofore been 
graunted or directed by the late Queene Elizabeth our deere Sister, 
or by our selves, to our welbeloued servantes Edmonde Tilney, Maister 
of the office of our said Revells, or to Sir George Bucke knighte, or to 
either of them in possession or reversion, shall be remayne and abide 
entire, and in full force estate and vertue, and in as ample sorte as yf 
this our Commission had never been made. In witnesse whereof etc. 
Witnesse our selfe at Westminster the Thirtith daie of Aprill. per 
breve de priuato sigillo. 

Between 1606 and 1610 it seems to have been thought 
desirable to strengthen the composition of the company by 
the introduction of new blood. A list of 4 Comedyanes and 
Playores *, included in the establishment book drawn up 
when Henry formed his own Household as Prince of Wales 
in 1610, contains six names in addition to the eight of the 
patent. 1 They are 4 Edward Colbrande, Wm. Parre, Rychard 
Pryore, William Stratford, Frauncys Grace, and John Shanke \ 
Of these William Parr, who is in the plot of 1 Tamar Cham in 
1602, is alone traceable in the earlier records of the company. 
Shank had been of Pembroke’s and Queen Elizabeth’s men. 

Henslowe entered two more advances in his diary, one for 
‘ facynge of a blacke grogren clocke with taffytye the other 

1 Birch, Life of Henry, 455 ; Greg, Gentleman's Magazine, ccc. 67, from 
Harl. MS, 252, f. 5, dated 1610. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 189 

to Dekker and Middleton in earnest of The Patient Man and 
the Honest Whore. This was entered in the Stationers’ Register 
on 9 November 1604, and printed as The Honest Whore 
during the year. The name of Towne is in a stage- direction. 
On 14 March * 1604 which may have been either 1604 or 1605, 
Henslowe had a final reckoning with the company and noted 
‘ Caste vp all the acowntes frome the begininge of the world 
vntell this daye beinge the 14 daye of Marche 1604 by Thomas 
Dowghton & Edward Jube for the company of the prynces 
men & I Phillipe Henslow so ther reasteth dew vnto me 
P Henslow the some of xxiiij 11 all reconynges consernynge 
the company in stocke generall descarged & my sealfe 
descarged to them of al deates \ x With this, so far as the 
extant book goes, the record of his transactions with the 
company practically ceases. The only exception is a note of 
receipts at the Fortune during the three days next after 
Christmas in 1608, which amounted to 255., 45 s., and 445. 9 d. 
respectively. 1 2 Something of the career of the Prince’s men 
may be gleaned from other sources. They played at Court 
before James on 21 January and 20 February 1604, and before 
Henry on 4, 15, and 22 January ; and during the following 
Christmas before Anne on 23 November 1604 and before 
Henry on 24 November, 14 and 19 December, and on 15 and 
22 January and 5 and 19 February 1605. On 8 February 
1605 their play of Richard Whittington , of which nothing 
further is known, was entered on the Stationers’ Register. 3 
In the same year Samuel Rowley’s When You See Me } You 
Know Me , was printed as played by them. During the 
Christmas of 1605-6 they gave three plays before James and 
three before Henry. 4 In 1604-5 they were at Maidstone and 
Winchester, in 1605-6 at Bath, on 17 July 1606 at Oxford, 
and on 17 October at Ipswich. During the Christmas of 
1606-7 they gave six plays before James. Dekker’s Whore 
of Babylon was entered on the Stationers’ Register on 20 April 
1607 and printed as theirs in the same year. In 1606-7 they 
were at Bath. During the Christmas of 1607-8 they gave 
four plays before James and Henry. In 1607-8 they were 

1 Henslowe, i. 1 75 . 2 Ibid. 214. 

3 There may be an allusion to this play in H. Parrot, Laquei Ridiculosi, 
Springes for Woodcocks (1613), li. 162 : 

’Tis said that Whittington was rais’d of nought. 

And by a cat hath divers wonders wrought : 

But Fortune (not his cat) makes it appear. 

He may dispend a thousand marks a year. 

Dr. Greg (Henslowe, ii. 65) has dispersed Collier’s myth of one Whit- 
tington * perhaps a sleeping partner in the speculation of the Fortune ’. 

4 Most of the play-dates of 1605-12 are in Apps. A and B. 



THE COMPANIES 


190 

at Maidstone and Saffron Walden, and on 1 October 1608 
they were at Leicester ; but a visit of the same year from 
4 the Princes players of the White Chappie, London * is rather 
to be assigned to the Duke of York’s men (q.v.). They gave 
three plays before James and Henry during the Christmas of 
1608-9, four before James during that of 1609-10, and four 
before James during that of 1610-11. Middleton and Dekker’s 
The Roaring Girl was printed in 1611 as lately played by them 
at the Fortune, and Field’s Amends for Ladies ( c . 1610-11) 
names 1 Long Meg and the Ship ’ as in their repertory. Pre- 
sumably their Long Meg of Westminster of 1595 still held 
the boards. 1 In 1608-9 they were at Shrewsbury and Saffron 
Walden, in 1609-10 at Shrewsbury and Hereford, in 1610-11 
at Shrewsbury and Winchester. 

They played at Court before James on 28 and 29 December 
1611, giving on the second night The Almanac , and before 
Henry in February and Elizabeth in April 1612. On 1 Octo- 
ber 1612 the lewd jigs, songs, and dances at the Fortune 
are recited in an order of the Middlesex justices as tending to 
promote breaches of the peace. One of these may have been 
the occasion on which an obscure actor, Garlick by name, 
made himself offensive to the more refined part of his audience. 2 
On the following 7 November Henry died and on 7 December 
his players figured in his funeral procession. 3 

They found a new patron in the Elector Palatine, then in 
England, and on entering his service got a new patent, which 
bears date 11 January 1613 and closely follows in its terms that 
of 1606. 4 The house specified for them was again the Fortune, 
which they had no doubt continuously occupied since its opening 
in 1600. The players named were * Thomas Downton, William 
Bird, Edward Juby, Samuell Rowle, Charles Massey, Humfrey 
Jeffs, Frank Grace, William Cartwright, Edward Colbrand, 
William Parr, William Stratford, Richard Gunnell, John 
Shanck, and Richard Price ’. Possibly Price may be the 
Pryor of the 1610 list. Cartwright and Gunnell are new 
since that list, but Cartwright had been in The Battle of 
Alcazar and 1 Tamar Cham plots of 1601 and 1602. These 
two must be supposed to have taken the places of Thomas 
Towne and Antony Jeffes. Thomas Towne had enjoyed 
an annuity of £ 12 out of Alleyn’s manor of Dulwich from 

1 A. for L. 11. i. In in iv a drawer says, * all the gentlewomen [from 
Bess Turnup's] went to see a play at the Fortune, and are not come in 
yet, and she believes they sup with the players \ 

* Cf. ch. xv, s.v. Garlick. 8 Nichols, James , ii. 495. 

4 M. S. C. i. 275, from P. R. 10 Jac. I, pt. 25 ; also from signet bill 
in Collier, i. 366, and Hazlitt, E. D. S. 44. Greg (Henslowe, ii. 263) notes 
copies in Addl. MS. 24502, f. 6o v , and Lincoln* s Inn MS. clviii. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 


191 

28 October 1608 to 15 January 1612, but on 5 November 1612 
4 widow Towne * is mentioned, 1 and further evidence of his 
death is supplied by a letter from Charles Massey to Alleyn, 
not dated, but from internal evidence written not very long 
after the prince’s death, to which reference is made. Massey 
is in debt and wants £50. He offers two things as security. 
One is 4 that lyttell moete I have in the play hovsses * ; 
from which it may be inferred that, like Downton, he had 
obtained an interest in the Fortune, although what the 
second house may have been can hardly be conjectured. 
The other is his interest under 4 the composisions betwene 
ovre compenye that if any one give over with consent of 
his fellowes, he is to receve three score and ten poundes 
(Antony Jefes hath had so much) if any on dye his widow 
or frendes whome he appoyntes it tow reseve fyfte poundes 
(M r es Pavie and M r es Tovne hath had the lyke) In order 
to be in a position to repay the loan at the end of the year 
he undertakes to get Mr. Jube to reserve 4 my gallery mony 
and my quarter of the hovse mony ’ for the purpose, and 
should it prove at the end of six months that this will be 
insufficient, he will be prepared to surrender his whole share, 
with the exception of 135. 4 d. a week for household expenses. 2 
From this letter it may also be gathered that Antony Jeffes 
had retired, and apparently that Pavy, whose name is found 
in the plot of 2 Fortune's Tennis , which I assign to 1602-3, 
had at some time become a sharer in the company. One 
other player, originally in 1597 a hired man, had evidently 
reached some prominence between that date and 1614. 
William Fennor, in the course of a rhyming controversy with 
John Taylor, makes the following boast of his histrionic talent : 

And let me tell thee this to calme thy rage, 

I chaleng’d Kendall on the Fortune stage ; 

And he did promise ’fore an audience, 

For to oppose me. Note the accidence : 

I set up bills, the people throngd apace, 

With full intention to disgrace, or grace ; 

The house was full, the trumpets twice had sounded, 

And though he came not, I was not confounded, 

But stept upon the stage, and told them this, 

My aduerse would not come : not one did hisse, 

But flung me theames : I then extempore 
Did blot his name from out their memorie, 

And pleasd them all, in spight of one to braue me, 

Witnesse the ringing plaudits that they gaue me. 8 


1 Henslowe Papers , 106. 2 Ibid. 64. 

3 Fennor's Defence , or 1 am Your First Man (Taylor's Works, 1630, 



192 


THE COMPANIES 


As the Elector Palatine’s men the company played at 
Court during the winter of 1613-14, twice before James and 
once before Charles. They were amongst the companies which 
performed irregularly in the Lent of 1615, and Humphrey 
Jeffes and Thomas Downton were summoned before the 
Privy Council to account for their misdoing. One of the 
irregular licences condemned by the Lord Chamberlain on 
16 July 1616 was an exemplification of the patent of 1613, 
taken out by Charles Marshall, Humphrey Jeffes, and 
William Parr for provincial purposes. 


xx. THE LORD CHAMBERLAIN’S (LORD HUNSDON’S) AND 

KING’S MEN 

Henry Carey, s. of William Carey and Mary, sister of Anne Boleyn ; 
nat . c. 1524; cr. 1st Lord Hunsdon, 13 Jan. 1559; m. Anne, d. of 
Sir Thomas Morgan ; Warden of East Marches and Governor of 
Berwick, Aug. 1568; Lord Chamberlain, 4 July 1585; lived at 
Hunsdon House, Herts., and Somerset House, London ; ob. 22 July 
1596. 

George Carey, s. of Henry, 1st Lord Hunsdon ; nat. 1547 ; Kt. 
18 May 1570 ; m. Elizabeth, d. of Sir John Spencer of Althorp ; 
Captain-General of Isle of Wight, 1582 ; succ. as 2nd Baron, 22 July 
1596 ; Lord Chamberlain, 17 Mar. 1597 ; lived at Carisbrooke Castle, 
Hunsdon House, Drayton, and Blackfriars ; ob. 9 Sept. 1603. 

A company of Lord Hunsdon’s men was at Leicester in 
the last three months of 1564, at Norwich and Maldon in 

1564- 5, at Plymouth before Michaelmas in 1565, at Canter- 
bury in the autumn of 1565, at Gloucester and Maldon in 

1565- 6, at Bristol in July 1566, and at Canterbury in the 
spring of 1567. Another makes its appearance at Ludlow 
on 13 July 1581, and at Doncaster in 1582. In the winter 
Lord Hunsdon was apparently deputy for the Earl of Sussex 
as Lord Chamberlain, and took occasion to bring his men to 
Court, where they acted Beauty and Housewifery on 27 Decem- 
ber 1582. They did not again appear at Court, but when 
plays were temporarily suppressed on 14 June 1584 the 
owner of the Theatre, presumably James Burbadge, made 
a claim to be Lord Hunsdon’s man. Meanwhile 4 my L. Huns- 
douns and my Lords Morleis players being bothe of one 
companye * are recorded at Bristol in March 1583, and Lord 

ed. Spenser Soc. 314). The 1659 print of the Blind Beggar of Bethnal 
Green has at 1 . 2177, ‘ Enter . . . Captain Westford, Sill Clark \ The 
title-page professes to give the play as acted by the Prince's men, but 
whether Clark was an actor of 1603-12 or not must remain doubtful. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 


193 


Hunsdon’s alone at Norwich in 1582-3, Bath in June 1583, 
and Exeter in July 1583. Hunsdon became Lord Chamberlain 
on 4 July 1585. Between October and December of that 
year, a visit was paid to Leicester by 4 the Lord Chamberlens 
and the Lord Admiralls players ’, and on 6 January 1586 
‘ the servants of the lo: Admirall and the lo: Chamberlaine * 
gave a play at Court. These entries suggest an amalgamation 
of Hunsdon’s men with those of Lord Admiral Howard, both 
of whom had perhaps been weakened by the formation of 
the Queen’s men in 1583. But if so, it was only a partial 
or temporary one, for while the Admiral’s men established 
themselves in London, the Chamberlain’s are traceable in 
the provinces, at Coventry in 1585-6, at Saffron Walden in 
1587-8, and at Maidstone in 1589-90. 

An interval of four or five years renders improbable any 
continuity between this company and the famous Lord 
Chamberlain’s company, which first emerged on the resorting 
of the plague-stricken mimes in 1594, passed under royal 
patronage in 1603, and prolonged an existence illumined by 
the genius of Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Beaumont and 
Fletcher, Massinger and Shirley, until the closing of the 
theatres in 1642. The first notice of the new organization is 
in June 1594, when ‘ my Lord Admeralle men and my Lorde 
Chamberlen fnen * played from the 3rd to the 13th of the 
month, either in combination or separately on allotted days, 
for Henslowe at Newington Butts. 1 Some of the plays given 
during this period can be traced to the subsequent repertory 
of the Admiral’s men ; others, which cannot, may be assigned 
to the Chamberlain’s. They are Hester and Ahasuerus , Titus 
Andronicus t Hamlet ) and Taming of A Shrew , which, although 
so described, may of course have been really the Taming of 
The Shrew } Shakespeare’s adaptation of the older play 
entered in the Stationers’ Register on the previous 2 May. 
It is ingeniously, and I think rightly, inferred from a line 
drawn in Henslowe’s account after 13 June, that from that 
date all the performances recorded are by the Admiral’s 
men, probably at the Rose, and that his relations with the 
Chamberlain’s men had ceased. The company is found at 
Marlborough about September, and on 8 October Lord 
Hunsdon wrote to the Lord Mayor, asking permission for 
4 my nowe companie ’ to continue an occupation of the 
Cross Keys, 2 on which it seems to have already entered. 

1 Henslowe, i. 17 ; cf. p. 140. 

2 Cf. App. D, No. ci. It is not * my newe companie \ as it is sometimes 
misprinted. But I do not think that either term can be interpreted as 
showing that the company had or had not a corporate existence before 

2229-2 O 



194 


THE COMPANIES 


Henceforward the company was regularly established in 
London, took the lead annually at Court, and except for brief 
periods of inhibition in 1596, 1597, and possibly 1601, does 
not appear to have travelled during the remainder of Eliza- 
beth’s reign. Whether Hunsdon’s men got the Cross Keys 
for the winter or not, they probably had from the beginning 
the use of the Theatre for the summer seasons, for Richard 
Burbage, the son of the owner, was one of their leading 
members, and on 15 March 1595 appears as joint payee with 
William Kempe and William Shakespeare for two plays given 
at Court on 26 and 28 December 1594. These plays cannot 
be identified, but Shakespeare’s Love's Labour's Lost and 
Romeo and Juliet may well have been produced this winter. 1 
Most likely the date 28 December was entered in the payment 
warrant by mistake for 27 December, for the Admiral’s 
men are also recorded as playing at Court on 28 December, 
and on the same night 4 a company of base and common 
fellows ’, with whom one is bound to identify the Chamber- 
lain’s men, played ‘ a Comedy of Errors ’ as part of the 
Christmas revels of the Prince of Purpoole at Gray’s Inn. 2 
There seems to be some echo of Romeo and Juliet in the 
Pyramus and Thisbe interlude of A Midsummer- Night's 
Dream , which may very well have been given at Greenwich or 
Burghley House for the wedding of William Stanley, Earl of 
Derby, and Elizabeth Vere, daughter of the Earl of Oxford, on 
26 January 1595. Another possible occasion for the produc- 
tion, however, is the wedding of Elizabeth, daughter of 
Sir George Carey and grand-daughter of Lord Hunsdon, to 
Thomas, son of Henry Lord Berkeley on 19 February 1596. 
This took place at Blackfriars, presumably in Sir George 
Carey’s house there. 3 

To 1595 or thereabouts I also assign Shakespeare’s Two 
Gentlemen of Verona and King John and Richard II* The 
company played at Court on 26, 27, and 28 December 1595 

it came under Hunsdon’s patronage. The use which the company ‘ have 
byn accustomed ’ to make of the inn is only related to ' this winter 
time 

1 The dates here assigned to Shakespeare’s plays are mainly based 
on the conclusions of my article on Shakespeare in the Encyclopaedia 
Britannica. 

2 Cf. ch. xxiv, s.v. Gesta Grayorum and M. L. R. ii. 11. 

3 Cf. my paper on The Occasion of A Midsummer-Night' s Dream in 
Shakespeare Homage, 154, and App. A. 

4 I have recently found confirmation of the date for Rich. II in a letter 
from Sir Edward Hoby inviting Sir R. Cecil to his house in Canon Row 
on 9 Dec. 1595, * where, as late as shall please you, a gate for your supper 
shall be open, and K. Richard present himself to your view ’ (Hatfield MSS. 
V. 487). 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 195 

and 6 January and 22 February 1596. In the warrant for 
their fees, dated on 21 December 1596, and made payable 
to John Heminges and George Bryan, they are described as 
‘ servauntes to the late Lord Chamberlayne and now scr- 
vauntes to the Lorde Hunsdon It is clear that, when the 
first Lord Hunsdon died on 22 July 1596, the players had 
been retained by his son and heir, Sir George Carey. The 
Lord Chamberlainship passed to Lord Cobham ; but he died 
on 5 March 159 7, and on 17 March the post was given to the 
second Lord Hunsdon. The company, then, was properly 
known as Lord Hunsdon’s men from 22 July 1596 to 17 March 
1597 ; before and after that period it was the Lord Chamber- 
lain’s men. 

To 1596 I assign Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice. Evi- 
dence of the occupation of the Theatre about this time by 
the company is to be found in Lodge’s allusion to a revival 
of Hamlet there, for this play is not likely to have been in 
other hands. 1 It is not an unreasonable conjecture that 
James Burbadge destined to their use the playhouse in the 
Blackfriars, which he purchased in February, and had 
converted for 4 publique ’ use by November of this year. 
If so, he and they were disappointed, for a petition of the 
inhabitants, amongst the signatories to an alleged copy of 
which Lord Hunsdon himself is somewhat oddly found, led 
to an intervention of the Privy Council, who forbade plays 
to be given within the liberty. 2 At this time also the Corpora- 
tion seem to have succeeded in finally and permanently 
expelling the players from the City inns which had long been 
their head- quarters, and Nashe connects this persecution 
with the loss of 4 their old Lord ’, by whom he doubtless 
means Henry Lord Hunsdon. It is possible that plays 
were inhibited altogether during the summer of 1596, although 
no formal order to that effect is preserved, for Hunsdon’s went 
to Faversham, and Nashe himself was disappointed of 4 an after 
harvest I expected by writing for the stage and for the presse ’. 3 

In the following winter the company played at Court on 

1 T. Lodge, Wits Miserie (S. R. 5 May 1596), 56, ‘the Visard of y* 
ghost which cried so miserably at y® Theator, like an oister wife, Hamlet, 
revenge '. 

2 Cf . ch. xvii (Blackfriars) . There is a slight doubt as to the authenticity 
of the text of the petition, which the inclusion of Lord Hunsdon’s name 
can only emphasize. But the fact of the petition and its result are vouched 
for by a City document of later date. The counter-petition of the players 
published by Collier, i. 288, in which they are misdescribed as the Lord 
Chamberlain’s men, is a forgery. The names given are those of Pope, 
Burbadge, Heminges, Phillips, Shakespeare, Kempe, Sly, and Tooley. 
There is nothing to connect Tooley with the company before 1605. 

8 Cf. App. D, No. cvi. 


O 2 



THE COMPANIES 


196 

26 and 27 December 1596 and on 1 and 6 January and 6 and 
8 February 1597. Their payees, for this and for the next two 
years, were Thomas Pope and John Heminge. In 1597 began 
the printing of plays written by Shakespeare for this company, 
with a 1 bad ’ quarto of Romeo and Juliet , bearing on its 
title-page the name of Lord Hunsdon’s men and 4 good * 
quartos of Richard II and Richard Illy bearing that of the 
Lord Chamberlain’s. 1 From the text of Richard II was 
omitted the deposition scene, which did not appear in print 
until after the death of Elizabeth. The only Shakespearian 
productions that can be plausibly ascribed to this year are 
those of the two parts of Henry IV. The presentation of 
Sir John Oldcastle in the original versions of these seems 
to have led to a protest, and the character was renamed 
Sir John Falstaff. It is not improbable that the offence taken 
was by Lord Chamberlain Cobham, whose ancestress, Joan 
Lady Cobham, Oldcastle had married. 2 It is impossible to 
say whether either this scandal or any possible interpretation 
of disloyalty put upon Richard II contributed to the inhibition 
of plays on 28 July, of which the main exciting cause was 
certainly the performance of The Isle of Dogs at the Swan 
on the Bankside. 3 For the second time since their formation 
in 1594 the company had to travel. They are trace- 
able at Rye in August, at Dover between 3 and 20 Septem- 
ber, at Marlborough, Faversham, and Bath during 1596-7, 
and at Bristol about 29 September. This inhibition was 
removed early in October. There is some reason to believe 
that, when the Chamberlain’s men resumed playing, it was 
not at the Theatre, as to the renewal of the lease of which 
the Burbadges were disputing with their ground landlord, 
but at the Curtain. Marston, in one and the same passage 
of his Scourge of Villainy , entered in the Stationers’ Register 
on 8 September 1598, alludes to the acting of Romeo and 
Juliet and to 4 Curtaine plaudeties ’, while almost simul- 
taneously Edward Guilpin in his Skialetheiay entered on 
15 September, speaks of 4 the unfrequented Theater ’. The 
transfer may, however, not have taken place until 1598. 4 

The company played at Court on 26 December 1597 and 

1 For the distinction between ‘ bad ' and ‘ good ’ quartos, cf. ch. xxii. 

2 R. James (c. 1625), in the dedication to his manuscript Legend of Str 
John Oldcastle (quoted by Ingleby, Shakespeare's Centurie of Praise, 165), 
says, * offence beinge worthily taken by Personages descended from his 
title '. 

8 Raleigh wrote to R. Cecil on 6 July 1597 that Essex was ‘ wonderful 
merry at your conceit of Richard II * (Edwardes, ii. 169) ; for the later 
history of the play, vide infra. 

4 Cf. ch. xvi (Curtain). 



AJJUEI lUM^AJNlUb 


197 


on 1 and 6 January and 26 February 1598. It is conceivable 
that one of these plays may have been a revised version of 
Love's Labour's Lost , which was printed as * newly corrected 
and augmented 1 and 4 as it was presented before her Highnes 
this last Christmas ’ in 1598. On the other hand, it is also 
possible that this print may have been intended to replace 
an earlier 4 bad * quarto, not now preserved, and if so, the 
reference to the representation may have been carried on from 
the earlier title-page. In 1598 were also printed 1 Henry IV , 
and the anonymous Mucedorus , which may have already 
belonged to the Chamberlain’s repertory, as it was certainly 
revised for them about 1610. The Merchant of Venice was 
entered in the Stationers’ Register on 22 July, but with 
a proviso that it must not be printed ‘ without lycence first 
had from the Right honorable the lord chamberlen ’. On 
7 September 1598 was entered in the Stationers’ Register 
the Palladis Tamia of Francis Meres, with its list of Shake- 
speare’s plays up to date, including the mysterious Love's 
Labours Won, which I incline to identify with the Taming 
of the Shrew . 1 The earliest play not mentioned by Meres is 
probably Much Ado about Nothing , which may belong to 
1598 itself. Another production of this year was Jonson’s 
Every Man In his Humour, which was still a new play 
about 20 September, when an Almain in the audience lost 
300 crowns. Possibly John Aubrey has this period in mind 
when he says that jonson 4 acted and wrote, but both ill, 
at the Green Curtaine, a kind of nursery or obscure play- 
house, somewhere in the suburbes, I thinke towardes Shore- 
ditch or Clarkenwell ’. 2 Jonson, however, was in prison 
soon after the production of the play for the manslaughter 
of Gabriel Spencer on 22 September in Hoxton Fields, and 
there is no other evidence that he ever acted with the Chamber- 
lain’s men. His own name is not in the list of the original 
4 principall Comoedians ’ affixed to the text of Every Man In 
his Humour in the folio of 1616. This is of great value, as 
being the earliest extant list of the company. The ten names 
given are : 

Will. Shakespeare. Ric. Burbage. 

Aug. Philips. Joh. Hemings. 

Hen. Condel. Tho. Pope. 

Will. Slye. Chr. Beeston. 

Will. Kempe. Joh. Duke. 

1 App. C, No. lii. 

2 Aubrey, ii. 12. The same writer is obviously confused when he says, 
on the authority of Sir Edward Shirburn, that Jonson ' killed M r Marlow 
the poet, on Bunhill, comeing from the Green-Curtain play-house \ 



ig 8 THE COMPANIES 

It must not, of course, be assumed, either that the list is 
in itself quite complete, or that there had been no changes 
amongst the Chamberlain’s men between 1594 and 1598 ; 
but as those named include five out of the six payees for that 
period, they may perhaps be taken, with the sixth payee, 
George Bryan, who does not re-appear after 1596, and was 
by 1603 an ordinary groom of the Chamber of the royal 
Household, as fairly representing the original constitution 
of the company. 1 And an inference to its origin at once 
becomes possible, for of these eleven men five (Kempe, Pope, 
Heminges, Phillips, and Bryan) formed, with Edward Alleyn, 
the company of Lord Strange’s men to whom Privy Council 
letters of assistance were granted in 1593, and at least six 
(Pope, Phillips, Bryan, Burbadge, Duke, and Sly) are to 
be found in the cast of 2 Seven Deadly Sins as performed 
by Strange’s or the Admiral’s or the two together about 
1590-1. It will be remembered that the Strange’s company 
of 1593, known as the Earl of Derby’s after 25 September 
1593, was apparently formed by a combination of the earlier 
Strange’s and Admiral’s men somewhere near the time of 
this performance, if not earlier, and that its composite 
character never wholly disappeared, Alleyn in particular, 
who was its leading member, retaining his personal status 
as an Admiral’s man. It seems clear that in 1594 the combina- 
tion broke up, that Alleyn became the nucleus of a new 
Admiral’s company at the Rose, and that the group with 
whom he had been travelling took fresh service with the Lord 
Chamberlain. It is not, I think, quite accurate to treat this 
transaction as a mere continuance of Lord Derby’s men under 
the style of Lord Chamberlain’s, entailing no reconstruction 
other than a change of patron following upon Lord Derby’s 
death on 16 April 1594. On the one hand a Derby’s company 
continued in existence, and is traceable under the sixth earl 
from 1594 to 1617. On the other hand, while we do not know 
what business reconstruction there may have been, a very 
fundamental change is involved in the replacement of Alleyn 
as principal actor by Richard Burbadge, who is not at all 
likely to have played with Strange’s men after the break 
between the Admiral’s and his father at the Theatre in 1591. 
Except for Alleyn, all the more important members of the 
company, as it existed in 1593, seem to have been included 

1 Cf. ch. x. There is no reason to suppose that the Richard Hoope, 
W* 1 Blackwage, Rafe Raye, and W m Ferney, to whom Henslowe lent 
money as ‘ my lord chamberlenes men * in 1595 (Henslowe, i. 5, 6), were 
actors. In fact Raye was a * man * of Hunsdon’s before the company 
was in existence at all (Henslowe, ii. 305). 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 


199 


in the transfer to Lord Hunsdon. It is, however, little more 
than conjecture that finds Henry Condell and Christopher 
Beeston in the ‘ Harry ’ and ‘ Kitt ’, or Alexander Cooke, 
Nicholas Tooley, and Robert Gough, who were numbered 
amongst the King’s men at a later date, in the * Saunder ’, 
* Nick ’, and ‘ R. Go.’ of the 2 Seven Deadly Sins plot. Alleyn’s 
correspondence of 1593 adds Richard Cowley to the list of 
Lord Strange’s men, and, as we shall find him acting as a 
payee for the Chamberlain’s men in 1601, he may have been 
one of them from the beginning. In any case he had joined 
them by 1598, as the stage-directions of Much Ado about 
Nothing show that he played Verges to Kempe’s Dogberry. 1 

There is, of course, one conspicuous Chamberlain’s man 
who is not discoverable either in the Privy Council letter of 
I 593 or in the 2 Seven Deadly Sins of 1 590-1. Even the 
audacity of Mr. Fleay has not attempted to identify the 
‘ Will ’ of the plot with Will Shakespeare. Some relations, 
if only as author, Shakespeare must have had with Lord 
Strange’s men, when they produced I Henry VI on 3 March 
1592, and Greene’s satire of him as a ‘Shake-scene* in the same 
year must indicate that he was an actor as well as an author. 2 
He may have stood aside altogether during the period of 
the provincial tours, and devoted himself to poetry, and 
perhaps, although this is very conjectural, to travel abroad. 
Or he may, as I have already suggested, have joined Lord 
Pembroke’s men (q.v.), whom I suspect to have been an off- 
shoot for provincial purposes of the Strange’s combination, and 
have passed from them to Lord Sussex’s, ultimately rejoining 
his old fellows in 1594. The possibility of identifying certain 
minor members of the Chamberlain’s company is also affected 
by this somewhat obscure problem of Pembroke’s men. The 
most obvious of these is John Sincler or Sincklo, who was 
in the cast of 2 Seven Deadly Sins as played by the Admiral’s 
or Strange’s about 1590-1, and must have ultimately joined 
the Chamberlain’s, as his name occurs in a stage-direction 
to Q x of 2 Henry IV (1600), and in the induction to The 
Malcontent (1604). It also occurs in stage-directions to 
3 Henry VI and the Taming of The Shreiv in the Folio of 1623. 3 
These both happen to be plays which passed through the 
hands of Pembroke’s, and the inference may be that Sincler 

1 The order of the Shakespearian actors named in the 1623 Folio, and 
the omission of the names of Duke and Beeston, rather suggests that these 
two were hired men, and that there were ten original sharers, Shakespeare, 
Burbadge, Heminges, Phillips, Kempe, Pope, Bryan, Condell, Sly, and 
Cowley. 

2 App. C. No. xlviii. 


3 Cf. ch. xxii. 



200 THE COMPANIES 

had also passed through this company. But this is far from 
being conclusive. It is the revised and not the unrevised 
texts that yield the name, and although I think it likely, 
on stylistic grounds, that the revision of 3 Henry VI was 
done for Pembroke’s (q.v.), it is probable from the reference 
in Henry V, epil. 12, to the loss of France and the civil wars, 

* which oft our stage hath shown ’, that the play was revived 
by the Chamberlain’s, and it may have been in such a revival 
that Sincler took part. As to the Shrew , it is impossible 
to say whether Shakespeare’s work upon it was before or 
after its transfer to the Chamberlain’s. In any case the 
Chamberlain’s were playing it in some form on 13 June 1594, 
so that here again the appearance of Sincler’s name cannot 
ear-mark him as Pembroke’s. We can now go a step farther. 
The stage-directions to 3 Henry VI contain not only Sincler’s 
name, but those of a certain ‘ Gabriel ’ and a certain * Hum* 
frey ’, not common Elizabethan names even separately, and 
certainly suggesting, when found in combination, the Gabriel 
Spencer and Humphrey Jeffes, who were fellows of the 
Admiral’s in 1597. Now Spencer, and very likely also Jeffes, 
had come from Pembroke’s, the short-lived Pembroke’s of 
1597 at the Swan. Had they been Pembroke’s men ever 
since 1593 ? If so, it would be difficult to resist the conclusion 
that the performance which brought their names into the 
text of 3 Henry VI y and with theirs John Sincler’s, was one 
by Pembroke’s about that date. The obstacle is that there 
is no known evidence, in provincial records or elsewhere, 
for any continuous existence of Pembroke’s between 1593 and 
1597. Pending the discovery of any such evidence, it seems 
better to assume that Sincler, Spencer, and Jeffes were all 
Chamberlain’s men before 1597, and that it was from a com- 
bination of discontented elements in that company and in the 
Admiral’s that the Pembroke’s of the Swan arose. If so, 
the rest of the Pembroke’s men not traceable as coming 
from the Admiral’s, namely Robert Shaw, William Bird alias 
Borne, and probably Anthony Jeffes, may also have come 
from the Chamberlain’s ; and such an origin might explain 
the suit with Thomas Pope in which Bird was entangled 
in 1598. 1 Two other minor actors in the company about 
1597 were probably Harvey and Rossill, whose names appear 
to have got into the text of 1 Henry IV in place of those 
of Bardolph and Peto, whom they represented. 2 The list 
of actors in Shakespeare’s plays given by the editors of 
the First Folio includes Samuel Crosse, of whom nothing 


1 Henslowe, i. 72. 


2 Cf. ch. xxii. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 201 

more is known except that he was of an early generation. 
As the list in the Folio appears to be limited to Chamberlain’s 
and King’s men, excluding for example Alleyn, who certainly 
acted in Shakespearian plays, e.g. 1 Henry VI, it may be 
that Crosse was for a short time a member of the company 
soon after 1594. 

It is hardly possible to carry the analysis of origins any 
further with profit, or to assume that the groups which 
segregated themselves from the Strange-Admiral’s combina- 
tion in 1594 bore any close correspondence to the respective 
contributions of Strange’s and the Admiral’s to that combina- 
tion in 1589 or 1590. The only name that can be connected 
with Strange’s men before 1588 is John Symons and neither 
he nor George Attewell, their payee in 1591, became a Chamber- 
lain’s man. Hypotheses have been framed, mainly in the hope 
of affiliating Shakespeare to Lord Leicester’s men, who are 
supposed to have carried him away from Stratford-on- 
Avon when they visited it in 1586-7, and ultimately to have 
become Lord Strange’s men. 1 So far as Shakespeare is con- 
cerned, the first record of him on the boards is in 1592, and the 
interval since his hegira from Stratford may have been quite 
otherwise spent. The proof of continuity between Leicester’s 
men and Strange’s altogether fails, since the latter made their 
appearance a decade before the former came to an end. 
The only member of the Lord Chamberlain’s company of 
1594 who can be traced to Leicester’s service was Kempe, 
and he had left Leicester’s men by the summer of 1586 
and was in Denmark. With him were Bryan and Pope, who 
afterwards spent a year in Germany, and may have joined 
either Strange’s or the Admiral’s on their return. The only 
other Chamberlain’s man, who can be assigned to an earlier 
company than Strange’s, is Heminges, who w r as probably 
at some time a Queen’s man. 

The Chamberlain’s men evidently started business in 1594 
with something of a repertory derived by inheritance or pur- 
chase from antecedent companies. Our knowledge of this is 
mainly confined to plays with which Shakespeare was con- 
cerned as author or reviser. They certainly did not get all 
the plays produced by Strange’s men at the Rose during 1592 
and 1593. Some of these were Henslowe’s property ; others 
passed with Alleyn to the Admiral’s men. But they got 
The Jealous Comedy , if I am right in identifying this with 
The Comedy of Errors . They probably got 1 Henry VI, for 
although the appearance of a Shakespearian play in the 1623 

1 Malone, Variorum, ii. 166: Fleay, L. and W. 8. 



202 


THE COMPANIES 


Folio is not perhaps, in view of the composition of the 1647 
4 Beaumont and Fletcher * Folio, absolute proof that the 
King’s men possessed the copy, their stage had often shown 
both the loss of France and the bleeding of England before 
Henry V was produced in 1599. 1 And they got Titus and 
Vespasian , as revised, after passing through the hands of 
Pembroke’s men, for production by Sussex’s under the title 
of Titus Andronicus. Three other of Pembroke’s men’s plays 
came to them, The Taming of A Shrew and 2 and 3 Henry VI, 
and probably Hamlet belongs to the same group. It is of 
course only a guess of mine that these also went with Shake- 
speare to Sussex’s men and came thence with him. Titus 
Andronicus and A Shrew , indeed, became available in print 
during 1594, but not Hamlet , and not Henry VI, except in 
the obsolete version called The Contention of York and Lan- 
caster. I think Shakespeare must also have brought 
Richard III and possibly an early version of Henry VIII, 
and that one or other of these had already been played by 
Sussex’s as Buckingham. Of the provenance of Hester and 
Ahasuerus nothing can be said. It is not necessary to suppose 
that the Chamberlain’s acquired any plays from the stock 
of the Queen’s men. It is true that Shakespeare subsequently 
made some use of The Troublesome Reign of King John , 
The Famous Victories of Henry V, and King Leire , but these 
were all in print before he needed them. 2 Alphonsus 1 Emperor 
of Germany, published in 1654 as a play of the King’s 
men at the Blackfriars is believed by some to be an early 
play, possibly by Peele, and if so, may belong to the repertory 
of 1594. 

I now return to the chronicle of the Chamberlain’s men 
from 1598 onwards. The restriction of the London companies 
by the action of the Privy Council to two had left them in 
direct rivalry with the Admiral’s at the Rose. Disputes broke 
out. Henslowe made a loan to William Bird of the Admiral’s 
on 30 August 1598 to follow a 4 sewt agenste Thomas Poope ’, 
and another to Thomas Downton on 30 January 1599, 4 to 
descarge Thomas Dickers [Dekker] from the areaste of my 
lord chamberlens men ’. 3 The company played at Court on 
26 December 1598 and 1 January and 20 February 1599. 
During this winter they undertook the enterprise of finding 
a new head-quarters on the Bankside. The disputes between 

1 Hen. V, epil. 12 . 

2 That the Famous Victories was reprinted in 1617 as a King’s men’s 
play proves nothing. It was to pass as Henry V ; obviously the King’s 
men never acted it, Henry V being in existence. 

3 Henslowe, i. 72, 10 1. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 203 

landlord and tenants as to the lease of the Theatre had reached 
a crisis, and in December or January the Burbadges removed 
the timber of the house across the Thames, to serve as material 
for the construction of the Globe. The lease of the new site 
was signed on 21 February 1599. Under it one moiety of the 
interest was retained by Richard Burbadge and his brother 
Cuthbert, who was not himself an actor ; the other was 
assigned to Shakespeare, Pope, Phillips, Heminges, and 
Kempe. 1 * 3 Shortly afterwards Kempe made over his share to 
the other four. Presumably he now quitted the company, 
having first, as a stage-direction shows, played Peter in the 
revised version of Romeo and Juliet printed in 1599. His 
place was probably taken by Robert Armin, formerly of 
Lord Chandos’s men, who describes himself in two successive 
issues of his Fool upon Fool (1600 and 1605), first as 4 clonnico 
del Curtanio’, and then as ‘clonnico del Mondo’, and who had 
therefore probably joined the Chamberlain’s men before their 
actual transfer to the Globe. As the Theatre had to be built, 
this is not likely to have taken place until the autumn of 
1599, and it must therefore remain doubtful which house was 
the 4 wooden O ’ of Henry F, produced during the absence 
of Essex in Ireland between 27 March and 28 September 
1599. ^ was > however, certainly at the Globe that Thomas 

Platter saw Julius Caesar on 21 September. 2 4 This fair- 
filled Globe ’, too, is named in the epilogue to Jonson’s 
Every Man Out of his Humour , which is ascribed in the Folio 
of 1606 to 1599, although if this be correct, an apparent 
allusion to Kempe’s journey to Norwich in the spring of 
1600 must, on the assumption that it is a real allusion, be an 
interpolation. The 4 principall Comoedians ’ in this play were 
Burbadge, Heminges, Phillips, Condell, Sly, and Pope. 
Four of the 1598 names are missing. Shakespeare evidently 
stood aside. Kempe had gone. Beeston and Duke may have 
gone also, although it is only a conjecture of Mr. Fleay’s 
that they and Kempe now seceded to Pembroke’s men at 
the Rose, and they are not definitely heard of again until 
they are found with Worcester’s men in August 1602. 3 
Mr. Fleay thinks that another Worcester’s man, Robert 
Pallant, had accompanied them ; but, although Pallant was 
with Strange’s or the Admiral’s about 1590, there is no 

1 For further details, cl. ch. xvi (Globe). 

3 Cf. ch. xvi, introd. 

3 Fleay, 138 ; cf. Murray, ii. 125 ; Greg, Henslowe, ii. 108. A loan of 

21 Sept. 1600 by Henslowe (i. 132) to Duke is only slight evidence, and 
the fact that Anne’s men chose to revive the already printed Edward II, 
once a Pembroke’s play, even slighter. 



204 


THE COMPANIES 


evidence that he was ever a Chamberlain’s man. Conceivably 
he may have joined the King’s men about 1619, but that 
is another matter. 1 About November 1599 was published 
A Warning for Fair Women , which belonged to the company. 

The Court plays called for from the Chamberlain’s men 
during the following winter were on 26 December 1599 and 
on 6 January and 3 February 1600. Heminges was sole 
payee, and occupied the same position in every subsequent 
year, up to and beyond 1616, except in 1600-1, when Richard 
Cowley was associated with him, and for a special payment 
made to Burbadge in 1604. On 6 March 1600 the company 
had an opportunity of rendering direct service to their 
patron Lord Hunsdon, by playing Henry IV, still oddly called 
Sir John Oldcastle , after a dinner which he gave to the Flemish 
ambassador, Ludovic Verreyken, presumably at his house in 
the Blackfriars. 2 To 1600 I assign Shakespeare’s Merry 
Wives of Windsor , not improbably prepared for performance, 
with the aid of the boys of Windsor Chapel, at the Garter 
Feast on 23 April, and also As You Like It. This was a year 
of some activity among the publishers and, as in 1598, the 
company had to take steps to protect their interests. In 
May John Roberts was prevented from printing their moral 
of Cloth Breeches and Velvet Hose , until he could bring proper 
authority, and in August a note was made in the Stationers’ 
Register to stay the printing of As You Like It, Henry V, 
and Much Ado about Nothing . 3 The last two of these, but 
not the first, were in fact printed during the year, and so were 
A Midsummer- Night's Dream, The Merchant of Venice, 
2 Henry IV, Every Man Out of his Humour , and An Alarum 
for London, all plays belonging to the company. 

The Chamberlain’s men played at Court on 26 December 
1600 and on 6 January and 24 February 1601. Shortly before 
this last performance, they had been involved in one of the 
tragedies of history. This was the abortive coup d'Stat of 
8 February 1601 in which the Earl of Essex, smarting under 
the disgrace which his failure in Ireland had brought upon 
him, attempted to secure his position and get rid of Sir 
Walter Raleigh and other enemies by taking forcible posses- 
sion of the person of Elizabeth and the palace of Whitehall. 
Some of his followers seem to have conceived the idea of 
predisposing the mind of the populace to their cause by 
a dramatic representation of the dangers of evil counsellors 
and the possible remedy of a deposition, as illustrated in the 
case of Elizabeth’s predecessor Richard II, in whom for some 


1 Cf. ch. xv 


Cf. ch. vu. 


3 Ct. ch. xxn. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 205 

obscure reason the political thought of the time was fond 
of finding an analogue to the Queen. Saturday, 7 February, 
the day before the outbreak, was chosen for the performance, 
and the players applied to were the Chamberlain’s. A deposi- 
tion by Augustine Phillips, taken before Chief Justice Popham 
and Justice Fenner during the subsequent inquiries, records 
the transaction. 1 

1 The Examination of Augustine Phillips, servant unto the L. Cham- 
berlain and one of his players, taken the xviij th of February, 1600, 
upon his oath. 

1 He saith that on Friday last was sennight or Thursday Sir Charles 
Percy Sir Josceline Percy and the Lord Mounteagle with some three 
more spoke to some of the players in the presence of this Examinate 
to have the play of the deposing and killing of King Richard the 
Second to be played the Saturday next, promising to get them xls. 
more than their ordinary to play it. Where this Examinate and his 
fellows were determined to have played some other play, holding that 
play of King Richard to be so old and so long out of use that they 
should have small or no company at it. But at their request this 
Examinate and his fellows were content to play it the Saturday and 
had their xl 0 more than their ordinary for it, and so played it accord- 
ingly.’ 

The fact that Phillips speaks of the play as old and long out 
of use, which becomes in the narrative of Camden ‘ exoleta 
tragoedia ’, hardly justifies the suggestion that it was some- 
thing earlier than Shakespeare’s Richard II. This, if produced 
in 1596, may well have been off the boards by 1601. 

A good deal of misunderstanding has gathered round the 
connexion of the Chamberlain’s men with this affair. Mr. Fleay 
is responsible for the theory that they fell into disgrace, 
had to travel, and were excluded from the Court festivities 
of the following Christmas. 2 As a matter of fact they played 
four times during that winter. This Mr. Fleay did not 
know, as he only had before him Cunningham’s incomplete 
extracts from the accounts of the Treasurer of the Chamber. 
But he ought to have noticed that their last performance for 
1600-1 was itself some days later than the examination of 
Augustine Phillips. Nor is any evidence that the company 
travelled in 1601 forthcoming from the provincial archives, 
Mr. Fleay’s identification of them with Laurence Fletcher’s 

1 S. P. D. Eli x. cclxxviii. 72, 78, 85. Accounts consistent with this are 
given in depositions of Sir W. Constable and Sir Gilly Meyrick (ibid ), 
Camden, Annales , 867, Cobbett, State Trials, i. 1445, and Bacon, A Declara- 
tion of the Practices and Treasons attempted and committed by Robert late 
Earl of Essex and his Complices (1601 ; Works, ix. 289). 

2 Fleay, 123, 136 ; cf. M. L . R . ii. 12. 



206 


THE COMPANIES 


Scottish company of that year merely rests upon the presence 
of Fletcher’s name in the patent of 1603, and this will not 
bear the strain of the argument. 1 Thus remains, however, the 
possibly autobiographical passage in Hamlet , ii. 2. 346, which 
assigns an * inhibition by the means of the late innovation ’ 
as a cause of the travelling of players to Elsinore. The date 
of Hamlet may well be 1601, since the same passage refers to 
the theatrical competition set up by the establishment of 
boy companies at St. Paul’s in 1599 and at the Chapel Royal 
in 1600. But it must be borne in mind that this competition 
is the only reason given for the travelling in the 1603 edition 
of the play. In the 1604 edition the only reason is the 
inhibition, while in the text of the 1623 Folio both reasons 
stand somewhat inconsistently side by side. 2 No doubt the 
text of 1603 is an imperfect piratical reprint. On the other 
hand that of 1604 almost certainly represents a revised 
version of the play, and the ‘ inhibition * cited, if it had an 
historical existence at all, may be that of 1603, during which 
certainly the company travelled. I suppose that ‘ innova- 
tion ’ might mean the accession of a new sovereign, although 
it does not seem a very obvious term. But then it does not 
seem a very obvious term for a seditious rising either. 3 On 
the whole, there is no reason to suppose that any serious 
blame was attached to the Chamberlain’s men for lending 
themselves to Sir Gilly Meyrick’s intrigue. It is certainly 
absurd to suggest, as has been suggested, that the ‘ adorned 
creature whose ingratitude instigated the comparison 
between Elizabeth and Richard, was not Essex but Shake- 
speare. 4 At the same time the company may, of course, 
have been told to leave London for a few weeks. At some 
time, as the 1603 title-page tells us, they took Hamlet both to 
Oxford and to Cambridge, and it is at least tempting to 
find a reminiscence of the Cambridge visit in the scene 
from 2 Return from Parnassus cited below. It is possible that 

1 Cf. ch. xiv (Scotland). 2 For the texts cf. ch xi. 

3 W. H. Griffin in Academy for 25 April 1896, suggests that the ‘ innova- 
tion * of 1604 was the same as the * noveltie ' of 1603, i.e. the setting up 
of child actors. But I am afraid that this leaves * inhibition ' without 
a meaning. 

4 Nichols, Eliz. iii. 552, prints, perhaps from a manuscript of Lord 
De La Warr's (Hist. MSS. iv. 300), a note by W Lambarde of a con- 
versation with the Queen on 4 Aug. 1601, * Her Majestie fell upon the 
reign of King Richard II, saying, I am Richard II, know ye not that ? 
W. L. Such a wicked imagination was determined and attempted by 
a most unkind Gent, the most adorned creature that ever your Majestie 
made. Her Majestie. He that will forget God, will also forget his bene- 
factors ; this tragedy was played 40 tle times in open streets and houses \ 
The performances here referred to must have been in 1596-7, not 1601. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 20; 

Phillips and his fellows, and even their relation to the Esse? 
crisis itself, may be glanced at in the satirical picture of th< 
Roman actors in Jonson’s Poetaster , produced by the Chape 
boys in the course of 1601. 1 Certainly the play betrays iti 
author’s knowledge of a counter-attack which the Chamber 
Iain’s men were already preparing for him in Dekker’: 
Satiromastix. This play, in which Dekker may have hac 
some help from Marston, was entered in the Stationers 
Register on 11 November 1601, and had probably been 01 
the stage not long before. It is noteworthy that it was pro 
duced by the Paul’s boys, as well as by the Chamberlain’s men 
It was actually published in 1602. Another play whicl 
may reasonably be assigned to 1601 is Twelfth Night . 

In the following winter the company played at Court or 
26 and 27 December 1601 and on 1 January and 14 February 
1602. They also gave Twelfth Night at the Middle Templ< 
feast on 2 February ; 2 and I have very little doubt that i 
was they who furnished the play at which Elizabeth and he 
maids of honour were present in the Blackfriars after dininj 
with Lord Hunsdon on 31 December. 3 The alleged produc 
tion of Othello before the Queen when Sir Thomas Egertoi 
entertained her at Harefield from 31 July to 2 August 160: 
rests on a forgery by Collier. 4 It is possible that, as Professo: 
Wallace conjectures, the play was on the capture of Stuh 
Weissenburg, seen by the Duke of Stettin on 13 Septembe 
1602, may have been a Globe production. 5 Sir Thoma . 
Cromwell , a play of unknown authorship belonging to th< 
company, was published in the course of 1602, with an ascrip 
tion on the title-page to W. S., and to this year I assigi 
Shakespeare’s All ’ s Well that Ends Well and Troilus am 
Cressida. If so, the portrait of Ajax in the latter play canno 
very well have been the ‘ purge ’ administered by Shakespeare 
to Jonson, to which reference is made in 2 Return fron 
Parnassus . This is a Cambridge Christmas piece, probablj 
of 1601-2, and in it Burbadge and Kempe are introduced ai 
in search of scholars to write for them. Perhaps the Cam 
bridge author did not know that Kempe had ceased to be the 
4 fellow ’ of Burbadge and Shakespeare in 1599, an d was a 
the time playing with Worcester’s men at the Rose. It is 
however, just possible that after returning from his con 
tinental tour and before throwing in his lot with Worcester’s 
he may have rejoined the Chamberlain’s for a while, and ma; 

1 Cf. ch. xi. J. Manningham, Diary , 18. 3 Cf. App. A. 

4 Collier, New Particulars, 57, and Egerton Papers, 343, ‘ 6 August 1602 
Rewardes . . . x 11 to Burbidges players for Othello ’ ; cf Ingleby, 262 

6 Wallace, li. 108 ; cf. p. 367 



208 THE COMPANIES 

have accompanied them to Cambridge, if they did travel 
in 1601. 1 

The last performances of the company before Elizabeth 
took place on 26 December 1602 and 2 February 1603, and 
on the following 24 March the Queen died. Playing imme- 
diately ceased in London. Strictly speaking, the Chamber- 
lain's men must have again become Lord Hunsdon's men for 
a month or so, for the Household appointments naturally 
lapsed with the death of the sovereign, and Hunsdon, being 
in failing health, was relieved of his duties on 6 April. On 
9 September he died. 2 The company, however, had already 
passed under royal patronage. 

A contemporary panegyrist records the graciousness of 
James in 4 taking to him the late Lord Chamberlaines servants, 
now the Kings acters'. 3 The appointment was by letters 
patent dated 19 May 1603, of which the text follows. 4 

Commissio specialis lames by the grace of god &c. To all Justices, 
pro Laurencio Fletcher Maiors, Sheriffes, Constables, hedborowes, 
& Willelmo Shacke- and other our Officers and louinge Subiectes 
speare et alns greetinge. Knowe yee that Wee of our 

speciall grace, certeine knowledge, & mere motion haue licenced and 
aucthorized and by theise presentes doe licence and aucthorize theise 
our Servauntes Lawrence Fletcher, William Shakespeare, Richard 
Burbage, Augustyne Phillippes, Iohn Heninges, Henrie Condell, 
William Sly, Robert Armyn, Richard Cowly, and the rest of theire 
Assosiates freely to vse and exercise the Arte and faculty of playinge 
Comedies, Tragedies, histories, Enterludes, moralls, pastoralls, Stage- 
plaies, and Suche others like as theie haue alreadie studied or hereafter 
shall vse or studie, aswell for the recreation of our lovinge Subjectes, 
as for our Solace and pleasure when wee shall thincke good to see them, 
duringe our pleasure. And the said Commedies, tragedies, histories, 
Enterludes, Morralles, Pastoralls, Stageplayes, and suche like to 
shewe and exercise publiquely to theire best Commoditie, when the 
infection of the plague shall decrease, aswell within theire nowe 
vsual howse called the Globe within our County of Surrey, as alsoe 
within anie towne halls or Moute halls or other conveniente places 
within the liberties and freedome of anie other Cittie, vniversitie, 
towne, or Boroughe whatsoever within our said Realmes and domy- 
nions. Wiilinge and Commaundinge you and everie of you, as you 
tender our pleasure, not onelie to permitt and suffer them herein 

1 Cf. ch. xv (Kempe). 2 Cf. ch. ii. 

3 G. Dugdale, Time Triumphant (1604), sig. B. 

4 Printed in M. S. C. i. 264, from P. R. 1 Jac. I, pars 2, membr. 4 ; also 
in Rymer, xvi. 505, and Halliwell, Illustr. 83. Halliwell also prints the 
practically identical texts of the Privy Signet Bill, dated 17 May, and 
the Privy Seal, dated 18 May. The former is also in Collier, i. 334, 

Hazlitt, 38, and Halliwell- Phillipps, ii. 82. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 


209 


without anie your lettes hindrances or molestacions during our said 
pleasure, but alsoe to be aidinge and assistinge to them, yf anie wronge 
be to them offered, And to allowe them such former Curtesies as hath 
bene given to men of theire place and quallitie, and alsoe what further 
favour you shall shewe to theise our Servauntes for our sake wee shall 
take kindlie at your handes. In wytnesse whereof &c. witnesse 
our selfe at Westminster the nyntenth day of May 

per breve de priuato sigillo &c. 

Of the nine players named, eight are recognizable as the 
principal members of the Lord Chamberlain’s company 
as it stood at the end of Elizabeth’s reign. Only Thomas 
Pope is not included. He was near his end. He made his 
will on 22 July 1603, and it was proved on 13 February 1604. 
In it he names none of his fellows, unless Robert Gough, 
who has a legacy, was already of the company ; his interest 
in the house of the Globe passed to legatees and was thus 
alienated from the company. Laurence Fletcher, on the other 
hand, whose name heads the list in the patent, is not discern- 
ible as a Chamberlain’s man. His inclusion becomes readily 
intelligible, when it is recalled that he had headed English 
actors on tour in Scotland, and had already been marked 
by the personal favour of James. 1 Whether he ever joined 
the company in the full sense, that is to say, the association 
of actors as distinct from the body of royal servants, seems to 
me very doubtful. His name is not in the Sejanus list, or 
in the Folio list of Shakespearian players, and that he was 
described as a ‘ fellow ’ by Phillips in 1605 hardly takes the 
matter further. He may have held a relation to the King’s 
men analogous to that of Martin Slater to Queen Anne’s 
men. After 1605 nothing is heard of him. 2 

The terms of the patent imply that it was issued during 
a suspension of playing through plague. Probably this had 
followed hard upon the suspension at Elizabeth’s death. 
The company travelled, being found at Bath, Coventry, and 
Shrewsbury in the course of 1602-3. A misplaced Ipswich 
entry of 30 May 1602 may belong to 1603. The visits to 
Oxford and Cambridge referred to on the title-page of the 1603 
edition of Hamlet must also have taken place in this year, if 
they did not take place in 1601. On 2 December 1603 the 
company were summoned from Mortlake to perform before 
the King at Lord Pembroke’s house of Wilton. 3 

1 Cf. ch. xiv (Scotland). 

8 Except in one of Collier’s Blackfriars forgeries ; cf. ch. xvi. 

3 W. Cory (Letters and Journals, 168) was told on a visit to Wilton in 
1865 that a letter existed there, naming Shakespeare as present and the 
play as As You Like It ; but the letter cannot now be found. 

2229 >2 P 



2lo THE COMPANIES 

During the winter of 1603-4 the company gave eight 
more plays at Court, a larger number than Elizabeth had 
ever called for. They took place on 26, 27, 28, and 30 Decem- 
ber 1603 and on 1 January and 2 and 19 February 1604. On 
New Year’s Day there were two performances, one before 
James, the other before Prince Henry. The plague had not 
yet subsided by 8 February, and James gave his men £30 
as a 4 free gifte * for their 4 mayntenaunce and releife ’ till 
it should 4 please God to settle the cittie in a more perfecte 
health \ One of the plays of this winter was The Fair Maid 
of Bristow. Another, produced before the end of 1603, was 
probably Ben Jonson’s Sejanus. For alleged popery and 
treason in this play Jonson was haled before the Privy Council 
by the Earl of Northampton, but there is nothing to show 
that the players were implicated. The principal actors in 
Sejanus were Burbadge, Shakespeare, Phillips, Heminges, Sly, 
Condell, John Lowin, and Alexander Cooke. This is Shake- 
speare’s last appearance in the cast of any play. He may 
have ceased to act, while remaining a member of the company 
and its poet. The names of Lowin and Cooke are new. Lowin 
had been with Worcester’s men in 1602-3. Cooke had 
probably begun his connexion with the company as an 
apprentice to Heminges. The identification of him with 
the 4 Sander ’ of Strange’s men in 1590 is more than hazardous. 
The Induction to Marston’s Malcontent , published in 1604, 
records the names of Burbadge, who played Malevole, Condell, 
Sly, Lowin, Sincler, and a Tireman. Sincler was probably 
still only a hired man. Nothing further is heard of him. 
This Induction seems to have been written by John Webster 
to introduce the presentation by the King’s men of The 
Malcontent , which was really a Chapel play. The transaction 
is thus explained : 1 

Sly. I wonder you would play it, another company having interest 
in it ? 

Condell. Why not Malevole in folio with us, as Jeronimo in decimo- 
sexto with them ? They taught us a name for our play ; we call it 
One for Another. 

The play of Jeronimo , which the Chapel are here accused of 
taking, cannot be The Spanish Tragedy , which was an Admiral’s 
play, and is not very likely to have been the 4 comedy of 
Jeronimo ’ which Strange’s men had in 1592, and which was 
evidently related to The Spanish Tragedy and may be expected 
to have remained with it. It might be the extant First Part 
of Jeronimo , written perhaps for the Chamberlain’s men 

1 Marston, Malcontent , Ind. 82. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 


211 


about 1601-2, when Jonson was revising The Spanish Tragedy 
for the Admiral's. A reference in T. M.’s Black Book shows 
that The Merry Devil of Edmonton , which belonged to the 
company, was already on the stage by 1604. 1 

The coronation procession of James, deferred on account 
of the plague, went through London on 15 March 1604, and 
the Great Wardrobe furnished each of the King’s players 
with four and a half yards of red cloth. The same nine men 
are specified in the warrant as in the patent of 1603, and 
their names stand next those of various officers of the Chamber. 
They did not, however, actually walk in the procession. 2 
From 9 to 27 August 1604, they were called upon in their 
official capacity as Grooms of the Chamber to form part 
of the retinue assigned to attend at Somerset House upon 
Juan Fernandez de Velasco, Duke of Frias and Constable of 
Castile, who was in England as Ambassador Extraordinary 
for the negotiation of a peace with Spain. The descriptions of 
his visit, which have been preserved, do not show that any 
plays were given before him. 3 

The company were at Oxford between 7 May and 16 June 

1604. About 18 December they had got into trouble through 
the production of a tragedy on Gowry , always a delicate 
subject with James. 4 But this did not interfere with a 
long series of no less than eleven performances which they 
gave at Court between 1 November 1604 and 12 February 

1605, and of which the Revels Accounts fortunately preserve 
the names. 5 The series included one play, The Spanish 
Maze , of which nothing is known ; two by Ben Jonson, 
Every Man In his Humour and Every Man Out of his 
Humour ; and seven by Shakespeare, Othello , The Merry Wives 
of Windsor , Measure for Measure , The Comedy of Errors , 
Henry V, Love's Labour 's Lost } and The Merchant of Venice , 
which was given twice. Othello and Measure for Measure had 
probably been produced for the first time during 1604, but 

1 Bullen, Middleton , viii 36, 4 Give him leaue to see the Merry Deuil 
of Edmonton or A Woman Killed with Kindness ’. 

2 N. S. S. Trans. (1877-9), 1 5*, from Lord Chamberlain's Records , vol. 58*, 
now ix. 4 (5) ; cf. Law (ut infra), io. Collier, Memoirs of Alleyn , 68, 
printed a list headed ‘ Ks Company * from the margin of the copy of the 
Privy Council order of 9 April 1604 at Dulwich. This is a forgery. To 
the nine genuine names Collier added those of Hostler and Day. The former 
joined the company some years later, the latter never ; cf. Ingleby, 269. 

3 App B ; cf. E. Law, Shakespeare as a Groom of the Chamber (1910), 
and the Spanish narrative in Coleccidn de Documentos intditos para la 
historia de EspaHa, lxxi. 467. 

4 Cf. ch. x. 

5 For the exact dates and the difficult critical questions raised by the 
records, cf. App. B. 



212 


THE COMPANIES 


the rest of the list suggests that opportunity was being taken 
to revive a number of Elizabethan plays unknown to the new 
sovereigns. This is borne out by the terms of a letter from 
Sir Walter Cope to Lord Southampton with regard to the 
performance of Love's Labour 's Lost . 1 

Between 4 May 1605, when he made his will, and 13 May, 
when it was proved, died Augustine Phillips. Unlike Pope, 
he was full of kindly remembrances towards the King’s men. 
He appointed Heminges, Burbadge, and Sly overseers of the 
will. He left legacies to his ‘ fellows * Shakespeare, Condell, 
Fletcher, Armin, Cowley, Cooke, and Nicholas Tooley ; to 
the hired men of the company ; to his 4 servant ’ Christopher 
Beeston ; to his apprentice James Sands, and to his late 
apprentice Samuel Gilburne. We have here practically a full 
list of the company. The name of Nicholas Tooley is new, 
unless indeed he was the ‘ Nick ’ of Strange’s men in 1592. 
He speaks of Richard Burbadge in his will as his ‘ master ’ 
and may have been his apprentice. The use of the term 
4 fellow ’ suggests that Tooley and Cooke were now sharers 
in the company. On the other hand Lowin, who is not named 
among the 4 fellows *, may still have been only a hired man. 
Beeston’s legacy is doubtless in memory of former service as 
hired man or apprentice ; he was in 1605 and for long after 
with the Queen’s men. Samuel Gilburne is recorded as a Shake- 
spearian actor in the 1623 Folio, but practically nothing is 
known of him or of James Sands. The exact legal disposal 
of the interest held by Phillips in the Globe subsequently 
became matter of controversy, but in effect it remained from 
1605 to 1613 with his widow and her second husband, and 
was thus alienated from the company. 

On some date before Michaelmas in 1605 the King’s men 
visited Barnstaple, and on 9 October they were at Oxford. 
This year saw the publication of The Fair Maid of Bristow and 
of The London Prodigal , which was assigned on its title-page 
to Shakespeare. To it I also assign Shakespeare’s Macbeth 
and King Lear. 

Ten Court plays were given in the winter of 1605-6, but 
the dates are not recorded. Three more were given in the 
summer of 1606 during the visit of the King of Denmark 
to James, which lasted from 7 July to 11 August, and then 
the company seem to have gone on tour. They were at 
Oxford between 28 and 31 July, at Leicester in August, at 
Dover between 6 and 24 September, at Saffron Walden and 
Maidstone during 1605-6, and at Marlborough in 1606. To 


1 Cf. App. B. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 


213 


this year I assign Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra and 
Coriolanus f and to the earlier part of it Ben Jonson’s Volpone } 
in which the principal actors were Burbadge, Condell, Sly, 
Heminges, Lowin, and Cooke. 

Nine Court plays were given during the winter of 1606-7, 
on 26 and 29 December 1606, and on 4, 6, and 8 January 
and 2, 5, 15, and 27 February 1607. The entry in the 
Stationers’ Register for King Lear and the title-page of Barnes* 
The Devil's Charter y both dated in 1607, show these to have 
been the plays selected for 26 December and 2 February 
respectively. In the same year were also published Tourneur’s 
The Revenger's Tragedy and Wilkins’ The Miseries of Enforced 
Marriage , and to it I assign the production of Timon of 
Athens . On 16 July 1607 Heminges lent his boy John Rice 
to appear as an angel of gladness with a taper of frankincense, 
and deliver an eighteen-verse speech by Ben Jonson as part 
of the entertainment of James by the Merchant Taylors 
at their hall. 1 During the summer the company travelled 
to Barnstaple, to Dunwich, to Oxford, where they were on 
7 September, and possibly to Cambridge. Volpone had 
probably been given in both Universities before its publica- 
tion about February 1607 or 1608. 

During the winter of 1607-8 the company gave thirteen 
Court plays, on 26, 27, and 28 December 1606, and on 2, 6, 7, 
9, 17, and 26 January, and 2 and 7 February 1607. On each 
of the nights of 6 and 17 January there were two plays. 
In 1608 was published A Yorkshire Tragedy , with Shake- 
speare’s name on the title-page, and to it I assign the produc- 
tion of Pericles , in which Shakespeare probably had Wilkins 
for a collaborator. About May the company had to find 
their share of the heavy fine necessary to buy off the inhibition 
due to the performance of Chapman’s Duke of Byron by the 
Queen’s Revels. 2 The year was in many ways an eventful 
one for the King’s men. They had, I suspect, to face a growing 
detachment of Shakespeare from London and the theatre ; 
and the loss was perhaps partly supplied by the establish- 
ment of relations with Beaumont and Fletcher, whose earliest 
play for the company, Philaster y may be of any date from 
1608 to 1610. About 16 August died William Sly, leaving his 
interest in the Globe to his son Robert and legacies to Cuthbert 
Burbadge and James Sands. Both he and Henry Condell 
had been admitted to an interest at some date subsequent to 

1 Clode, Early Hist, of Merchant Taylors , i. 290, * To M r Hemmyngs 
for his direccion of his boy that made the speech to his Maiestie 40 s , 
and 5® given to John Rise the speaker * ; cf. ch. iv. 

2 Cf. ch. x. 



214 


THE COMPANIES 


November 1606, the moiety of the lease not retained by the 
purbadges having been redistributed into sixths to allow of 
this. The deserts of Pope, Phillips, and Sly are all com* 
memorated in the Apology of Thomas Heywood, which, 
though not published until 1612, was probably written in 
1608. 1 Sly’s death complicated an important transaction 
in which the King’s men were engaged. This was the acquisi* 
tion of the Blackfriars, of which the freehold already belonged 
to the Burbadges, but which had been leased since 1600 to 
Henry Evans and occupied by the Children of the Revels. 
About July 1608 Evans was prepared to surrender his lease, 
and the Burbadges decided to take the opportunity of provid- 
ing the King’s men with a second house on the north side of 
the Thames, suitable for a winter head- quarters. As in the 
case of the Globe, they shared their interest as housekeepers 
with some of the leading members of the company. New 
leases were executed on 9 August 1608, by which the house 
was divided between a syndicate of seven, of whom five were 
Richard Burbadge, Shakespeare, Heminges, Condell, and 
Sly, while the other two, Cuthbert Burbadge and Thomas 
Evans, were not King’s men. When Sly’s death intervened, 
his executrix surrendered his interest and the number of the 
syndicate was reduced to six. Probably, however, the King’s 
men did not enter upon the actual occupation of the Black- 
friars until the autumn of the following year. 2 In fact the 
plague kept the London theatres closed from July 1608 to 
December 1609. The King’s men were at Coventry on 
29 October 1608 and at Marlborough in the course of 1607-8. 
The plague did not prevent them from appearing at Court 
during the winter of 1608-9, and they gave twelve plays 
on unspecified dates. But their difficulties are testified to 
by a special reward ‘ for their private practise in the time of 
infeccion ’, which had rendered their Christmas service 
possible. 

The plague led to an early provincial tour. The company 
were at Ipswich on 9 May, at Hythe on 16 May, and at 
New Romney on 17 May 1609. Their winter season was 
again interfered with, and a further grant was made in 
respect of six weeks of private practice. Amongst the 
plays so practised may, I think, have been Cymbeline. 
They gave thirteen plays at Court on unspecified dates 
during the holidays of 1609-10. 3 One of these may have 
been Mucedorus , the edition of which with the imprint 

1 App. C, No. lvii. 2 Cf. ch. xii (Queen’s Revels). 

3 Fleay, 173, and Murray, i. 152, are wrong in saying that there were 
no Court plays this year ; cf. M. L. R. iv. 154. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 


215 


1610 represents a revised version performed at Court on 
the previous Shrove Sunday, This might be either 18 Feb- 
ruary 1610 or 3 February 1611. The epilogue contains 
an apology for some recent indiscretion of the company 
in a play of which no more is known, but which might con- 
ceivably be Daborne’s A Christian Turned Turk } since this 
certainly brought its players into some disgrace. By April the 
company were at the Globe, playing Macbeth on 20 April, 
Cymbeline probably shortly before, and Othello on 30 April. 1 
To this year I assign The Winter's Tale and Beaumont and 
Fletcher’s The Maid's Tragedy . It also saw the production 
of Jonson’s Alchemist , with a cast including Burbadge, 
Lewin, Condell, Cooke, Armin, Heminges, William Ostler, John 
Underwood, Tooley, and William Ecclestone. This is the last 
mention of Armin in connexion with the King’s men, but 
it is sufficient to show that the production of his Two Maids 
of Moreclack by the King’s Revels about 1608 did not involve 
any breach with his old company. Of Ecclestone’s origin 
nothing is known. 2 Ostler and Underwood came from 
the Queen’s Revels, probably when the Blackfriars was taken 
over in 1609. In fact an account of the transaction given by 
the Burbadges in 1635 suggests that the desire to acquire 
these boys was its fundamental motive. They say : 

4 In processe of time, the boyes growing up to bee men, which were 
Underwood, Field, Ostler, and were taken to strengthen the King’s 
service ; and the more to strengthen the service, the boyes dayly 
wearing out, it was considered that house would bee as fitt for 
ourselves, and soe purchased the lease remaining from Evans with our 
money, and placed men players, which were Heminges, Condall, 
Shakspeare, &c.’ 

This narrative seems, however, to have antedated matters 
as regards Field. Or, if he did come to the King’s men in 
1609, be almost immediately returned to the Queen’s Revels 
at Whitefriars, joining the King’s again about 1616. 3 

About 8 May 1610 some superfluous apparel of the company 
was sold by Heminges on their behalf to the Duke of York’s 

1 Rye, 61 f from narrative of tour of Lewis Frederick, Duke of Wiirttem- 
berg, * Lundi, 30 [Apr.] S. E. alia au Globe, lieu ordinaire oil l’on joue les 
Commedies, y fut represente l’histoire du More de Venise ’. Forman’s 
accounts of Macbeth from Bodl. Ashm, MS, 208, f. 207, and of Cymbeline 
from the preceding leaf, but undated, are printed in N. S. S. Trans . 
(1875-6), 417. 

2 Fleay, 190, says that Ecclestone came from the Queen’s Revels. 
I think he must have confused him with Field. 

3 Perhaps his place between Ostler and Underwood in the actor-list of 
the 1623 Folio gives some confirmation to the statement of the Burbadges ; 
cf. p. 219. 



216 


THE COMPANIES 


men (q.v.). On 31 May Burbadge and Rice were employed 
by the City to make speeches on fish-back at the civic pageant 
of welcome to Prince Henry. 1 The autumn travelling took 
the company to Dover between 6 July and 4 August 1610, 
to Oxford in August, and to Shrewsbury and Stafford in 1609- 
10. During the following winter they gave fifteen Court plays 
on unspecified days. They were playing a piece on the story 
of Richard II, not now extant, at the Globe on 30 April 1611, 
and A Winter's Tale on 15 May. 2 During 1611 Jonson’s 
Catiline was produced, with a cast similar to that of The 
Alchemist , except that Armin was replaced by Richard 
Robinson, whose earlier history is unknown. Robinson, 
playing a female part, and Robert Gough also appear in 
the stage directions of The Second Maiden's Tragedy , licensed 
for the stage by Sir George Buck on 31 October 1611. Gough 
was probably one of Strange’s men in 1592. He appears in the 
wills of Pope in 1603 and of Phillips, who was his brother- 
in-law, in 1605, but with no indication that he belonged to the 
King’s men. Beaumont and Fletcher’s A King and No King 
was also licensed by Buck in 1611, and to this year I assign 
Shakespeare’s Tempest. On 25 August 1611 the interest in 
the Blackfriars originally intended for Sly was assigned to 
Ostler. Ecclestone, on the other hand, later in the year 
than the production of Catiline , but before 29 August, left 
the company for the Lady Elizabeth’s men. 

The only provincial visit by the King’s men recorded in 
1610-11 was to Shrewsbury. They gave twenty- two plays 
at Court during a rather prolonged winter season extending 
from 31 October 1611 to 26 April 1612. Two of these, on 
12 and 13 January, were joint performances with the Queen’s 
men, and the plays used, Heywood’s Silver Age and Rape of 
Lucrece , were from the repertory of the latter. 3 The King’s 
men also gave The Tempest and A Winter's Tale , A King 
and No King , Tourneur’s The Nobleman , and The Twins' 
Tragedy . On 20 February 1612 the actors’ moiety of the 
Globe was again redistributed, into sevenths, so as to allow 
of the admission as a housekeeper of Ostler, who had married 
a daughter of Pleminges. From the statement of the interests 
held by the parties to this transaction, it is to be inferred that 
Heminges and Condell had between them bought out since 
1608 the representatives of Sly. On 21 April 1612 the com- 
pany was at New Romney and at some date during 1611-12 

1 Cf. ch. iv. 

2 N . S. S. Trans. (1875-6), 415, from Simon Forman's notes in Bodl . 
Ashm. MS. 208, f. 200. 

3 For the precise dates and their difficulties, cf. App. B. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 217 

at Winchester. Heminges received a payment for services 
to the Lord Mayor’s pageant of this year, which was Dekker’s 
Troja Nova Triumphans . 1 

The actor-list attached to The Captain in the Beaumont 
and Fletcher Folio of 1679 probably belongs to the original 
production of the play between 1609 and 1612. It names 
Burbadge, Condell, Cooke, and Ostler. It was one of the 
plays selected for the Court season of 1612-13, during which, 
on 14 February, took place the wedding of the Elector Palatine 
Frederick and the Princess Elizabeth, and which was therefore 
singularly rich in plays, notwithstanding the interruption of 
the festivities due to the death of Prince Henry on 7 November 
1612. Heminges lent a boy for Chapman’s mask on 
15 February. The twenty plays given this winter by the 
King’s men, the exact dates of which are not upon record, 
were Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing (performed 
twice), The Tempest , A Winter's Tale } Julius Caesar , Othello , 
and 1 and 2 Henry IV , Jonson’s Alchemist , Beaumont and 
Fletcher’s Philaster (also performed twice), The Maid's 
Tragedy , A King and No King } The Captain and the lost play 
of Cardenio, Tourneur’s The Nobleman , and four plays of 
unknown authorship, The Merry Devil of Edmonton , The 
Knot of Fools , The Twins' Tragedy , and A Bad Beginning 
Makes a Good Ending. On 8 June there was a special perform- 
ance of Cardenio for the Savoyan ambassador. Some un- 
known cause seems to have brought Shakespeare back in 
1613 to the assistance of his fellows, and he collaborated with 
Fletcher in The Two Noble Kinsmen and in Henry VIII or 
All is True , possibly a revision of the Buckingham which 
formed part of the repertory of Sussex’s men in 1594. During 
a performance of Henry VIII , on 29 June 1613, the Globe 
was burnt to the ground. Some contemporary verses mention 
Burbadge, Heminges, and Condell as present on this occasion. 
A levy was called for from the housekeepers to meet the cost 
of rebuilding, and owing to the inability of the representatives 
of Augustine Phillips to meet the call upon them, Heminges 
was enabled to recover one of the alienated interests, which he 
divided with Condell. 

The company was at Oxford before November in 1613, 
and also visited Shrewsbury, Stafford, and Folkestone during 
1612-13. They played sixteen times at Court in the winter 
of 1613-14, on 1, 4, 5, 15, and 16 November and 27 December 
1613, and on 1, 4, and 10 January, 2, 4, 8, 10, and 18 February 
and 6 and 8 March 1614. The rebuilding of the Globe was 


1 Clode, Early Hist . of the Merchant Taylors , i. 334. 



2l8 


THE COMPANIES 


complete by 30 June 1614, and in the course of 1613-14 
the company visited Coventry. Cooke died in February 1614, 
being then a sharer. Ostler died on 16 December, and his 
interests in the Globe and Blackfriars became matter of 
dispute between his widow and her father, John Heminges. 
The ascertained dates of Ostler’s career render it possible to 
assign to 1609-14, the period of his connexion with the King’s 
men, three plays in which he took part. These are Webster’s 
Duchess of Malfi> at the first production of which, if the 
actor-list of the 1623 edition is rightly interpreted, the parts 
of Ferdinand, the Cardinal, and Antonio were played respec- 
tively by Burbadge, Condell, and Ostler, Fletcher’s Valen - 
tinian , played by Burbadge, Condell, Lowin, Ostler, and 
Underwood, and his Bonduca f played by Burbadge, Condell, 
Lowin, Ostler, Underwood, Tooley, Ecclestone, and Robinson. 
Bonduca must be either earlier than Ecclestone’s departure 
for the Lady Elizabeth’s men in 1611, or after he quitted that 
company and presumably rejoined the King’s in 1613. 

The King’s men gave eight plays at Court on unspecified 
days during the winter of 1614-15. On 29 March 1615 they 
were in trouble with other companies for playing in Lent, 
and Heminges and Burbadge appeared on their behalf before 
the Privy Council. In April 1615 they were at Nottingham. 
They gave fourteen plays at Court between 1 November 
1615 and 1 April 1616, and again the precise dates are not 
specified. They also appeared before Anne at Somerset 
House on 21 December 1615. 

Shakespeare died on 23 April 1616, and with this event 
I must close my detailed chronicle of the fortunes of the 
company. A new patent was issued to them on 27 March 
1619, probably to secure their right to perform in the Black- 
friars, which was being challenged by the action of the City. 1 
Since 1603 Shakespeare, Phillips, Sly, Cowley, Armin, and 
Fletcher have dropped out of the list, and are replaced by 
Lowin, Underwood, Tooley, Ecclestone, Gough, and Robin- 
son, together with Nathan Field, Robert Benfield, and John 
Shank, who now appear for the first time as members of the 
company. 2 Benfield and Field are last traceable with the 
Lady Elizabeth’s men in 1613 and 1615 respectively, Shank 
with the Palsgrave’s men in 1613. The only names common 
to both patents are those of Burbadge, Heminges, and Condell. 

1 Text in M. S. C. i. 280, from Signet Bill in Exchequer, Treasury of 
Receipt, Privy Seals, 17 Jac. I, Bundle ix, No. 2 ; also in Collier, i. 400, 
and Hazlitt, E . D. S. 50. 

2 Tawyer, a ‘ man ' of Heminges ’s, played in some revival ol M, N, D. 
before 1623, but not necessarily before 1619 (cf. ch. xv). 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 


219 


But in fact Burbadge died on 13 March 1619, while the patent 
was going through its stages, and his place was almost imme- 
diately taken by Joseph Taylor, from Prince Charles’s men. 
About the same time Field left the company. 1 Heminges, 
described as ‘ stuttering * in 1613, cannot be shown to have 
acted since the Catiline of 1611. He had probably devoted 
himself to the business management of the company, in which 
he always appears prominent. Condell also seems to have 
given up acting about 1619, and during the rest of the 
history of the company up to its extinction in 1642, its 
mainstays were Lowin and Taylor, who became depositaries 
of the tradition of the great Shakespearian parts. John 
Downes, who was prompter to the Duke of York’s men after 
the Restoration, relates how, when Betterton played Hamlet, 

4 Sir William [Davenant] (having seen Mr. Taylor of the 
Black-Fryers Company Act it, who being instructed by the 
Author Mr. Shakespear ) taught Mr. Betterton in every 
Particle of it ’ ; and how Davenant was similarly able to act 
as Betterton’s tutor for Henry the Eighth, for he 4 had it 
from Old Mr. Lowen , that had his Instructions from Mr. Shake- 
spear himself ’. 2 When Heminges and Condell came to print 
Shakespeare’s plays in 1623, they prefixed 4 the names of the 
principall Actors in all these playes’ as follows: 4 William 
Shakespeare, Richard Burbadge, John Hemmings, Augustine 
Phillips, William Kempt, Thomas Poope, George Bryan, 
Henry Condell, William Slye, Richard Cowly, John Lowine, 
Samuell Crosse, Alexander Cooke, Samuel Gilburne, Robert 
Armin, William Ostler, Nathan Field, John Underwood, 
Nicholas Tooley, William Ecclestone, Joseph Taylor, Robert 
Benfield, Robert Goughe, Richard Robinson, John Shancke, 
John Rice,’ The order is a little puzzling. The first ten 
entries may be those of the original members of the Chamber- 
lain’s company in 1594 ; and if so, their order does not matter. 
But it is difficult to believe that the other sixteen can repre- 
sent either the order in which the men began to play for the 
company, or the order in which they became sharers. Of 
course, there may have been comings and goings known to 
Heminges and Condell, but not now traceable. Thus Field 
and even Taylor may have come for a short while and gone 
again before 1611. But it seems impossible that Tooley, 
who was 4 fellow * to Phillips in 1605, could really have been 
junior to the recruits from the Queen’s Revels in 1609. On 
th$ whole, ope must suppose that, if Heminges and Condell 

1 M. L. R. iv. 395. 

2 Downes, 21, 24. Nevertheless, Taylor did not join the King's men 
until three years after Shakespeare's death. 



220 


THE COMPANIES 


aimed at an exact chronology, their memory occasionally 
failed them. The omission from the Folio of Duke, Beeston, 
Sincler, and Sands may indicate that the list is confined to 
sharers. It is probable that Fletcher, who is also omitted, 
was not a sharer and did not act in any Shakespearian play. 

xxi. THE EARL OF WORCESTER’S AND QUEEN ANNE’S 

MEN 

William Somerset, nat. 1526 ; succ. as 3rd Earl of Worcester, 1548 ; 
m. Christian, d. of Edward, 1st Lord North ; ob. 22 Feb. 1589. 

Edward Somerset, s. of William; nat . 1553; Lord Herbert of 
Chepstow ; succ. as 4th Earl, 1589 ; m. Elizabeth, d. of Francis, 
2nd Earl of Huntingdon ; Deputy Master of the Horse, Dec. 1597 ; 
Master of the Horse, 21 Apr. 1601 ; Earl Marshal, 1603 ; Lord Privy 
Seal, 2 Jan. 1616 ; ob. 3 Mar. 1628. 

Henry Somerset, s. of Edward ; nat. 1577 ; Lord Herbert of Chep- 
stow from 1589 ; m. 16 June 1600, Anne, d. of John, Lord Russell ; 
succ. as 5th Earl, 1628 ; cr. 1st Marquis of Worcester, 1642. 

Anne, d. of Frederick II, King of Denmark and Norway; nat. 
12 Dec. 1574 ; m. James VI, King of Scotland, 20 Aug. 1589; Queen 
Consort of England, 24 Mar. 1603; ob. 2 Mar. 1619. 

[Bibliographical Note. — The records of Worcester's men in 1602-3 arc 
printed and discussed by W. W. Greg in Henslowe’s Diary (1904-8). The will 
of Thomas Greene (1612) was printed by J. Greenstreet in the Athenaeum 
(29 August 1895), and the Bill, Answer, and Orders in the Chancery 
suit of Worth et al. v. Baskerville et al. (1623-6) by the same in the 
Athenaeum (11 July and 29 August 1885) and N. S. S. Trans. {1880-6), 
489. Both are reprinted in Fleay, 192, 271. The Court of Requests suit of 
Smith v. Beeston et al. (1619-20) is printed by C. W. Wallace in Nebraska 
University Studies, ix. 315.] 

The first company under the patronage of this house had 
a long and wholly provincial career. 1 The earliest record of it 
is at Barnstaple in 1555. On 10 October 1563 it was at 
Leicester. On 13 and 14 January 1565 it was at Sir George 
Vernon’s, Haddon Hall, Derbyshire, under the leadership 
of one Hamond. 2 It is further traceable in December 1565 
at Newcastle, before Michaelmas 1566 at Leicester, in 1567-8 
at Gloucester, in 1568-9 at Ipswich, Stratford-on-Avon, and 
Bath, on 11 August 1569 at Nottingham, in 1569-70 and 
1570-1 at Gloucester and Barnstaple, in 1571 at Leicester 
and Beverley, on 9 January 1572 at Nottingham, before 
Michaelmas at Leicester, on 31 December 1572 at Wollaton, 
Notts. (Francis Willoughby’s), on 6 January 1573 at Notting- 
ham, in 1572-3 at Bath, in 1573-4 at Abingdon, and in 
January 1574 at Wollaton again. As the Earl of Worcester’s 
1 Murray, i. 56, adds 1563-83 records. a G. Le B. Smith, Haddon Hall, 121 . 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 


221 


eldest son bore the courtesy title of Lord Herbert, it is probably 
the same company which appeared at Leicester, after Michael- 
mas in 1574, as 4 Lorde Harbards But it is named as 
Worcester’s again in 1574-5 at Stratford-on-Avon, on 28 April 
*575 at Nottingham, and after Michaelmas in the same year 
at Leicester, in 1575-6 at Coventry, in 1576-7 at Stratford- 
on-Avon and Bath, and on 14 June 1577 at Southampton, 
where it consisted of ten men. On 19 January 1578 it was 
at Nottingham, in 1577-8 at Coventry, in 1580-1 and 1581-2 
at Stratford-on-Avon, in 1581-2 at Abingdon, on 15 June 
1582 at Ipswich, in the same year at Doncaster. 

Two incidents in successive years suggest that Worcester’s 
men were not always quite so amenable, as vagrants should 
have been, to municipal discipline. The first was at Norwich 
on 7 June 1583. Here there was a fear of plague, and the 
company were given 26 s. 8d. y on a promise not to play. 
In spite of this they played in their host’s house. The Corpora- 
tion ordered 4 that their lord shall be certified of their con- 
tempt ’, and that they should never again receive reward in 
Norwich, and should presently depart the town on pain of 
imprisonment. It was afterwards agreed, however, on submis- 
sion and earnest entreaty, not to report the misdemeanour 
to the Earl of Worcester. The second occasion was in the 
following March in Leicester, and the entries in the Corpora- 
tion archives are so interesting as to deserve reproduction in 
full. 1 


M r Mayor 
M r J. Tatam 
M r Morton. 


Tuesdaie the third daie of Marche, 1583, 
certen playors whoe said they were the 
seruants of the Quenes Maiesties Master of 
the Revells, who required lycence to play & 
for there aucthorytye showed forth an Inden- 
ture of Lycense from one M r Edmonde Tylneye 
esquier M r of her Maiesties Revells of the 
one parte, and George Haysell of Wisbiche 
in the lie of Elye in the Countie of Cambridge, 
gentleman on the other parte. 

The which indenture is dated the vj th daie of Februarye in the 
XXV th yere of her Maiesties raign &c. 

In which Indenture there ys one article that all Justices, Maiores, 
Sherifs, Bayllyfs, Constables, and all other her officers, ministers & 
subiects whatsoeuer to be aydinge & assistinge vnto the said Edmund 


1 Kelly, 21 1, from Leicester Hall Papers , i, ft. 38, 42; Hist. MSS. 
viii. 1, 431. The latter part of the record, from the Earl’s licence onwards, 
was given by Halliwell in Sh. Soc. Papers , iv. 145, but with the date 
1586, due to a misprint of ‘ 28° Eliz.’ for * 25 0 Eliz.’ in the licence. This 
has misled Fleay, 86, and other writers. Maas, 49, and M. Bateson, 
Records of Leicester , iii. 198, introduce fresh errors of their own. 



222 


THE COMPANIES 


Tilneye, his Deputies & Assignes, attendinge & havinge due regard 
vnto suche parsons as shall disorderly intrude themselves into any 
the doings and accions before mencioned,not beinge reformed, qualifyed 
& bound to the orders prescribed by the said Edmund Tyllneye. 
These shalbee therefore not only to signifye & geve notice vnto all 
& euery her said Justices &c that none of there owne pretensed 
aucthoritye intrude themselves & presume to showe forth any suche 
playes, enterludes, tragedies, comodies, or shewes in any places 
within this Realm, withoute the orderlye allowance thereof vnder the 
hand of the sayd Edmund. 

Nota. No play is to bee played, but suche as is allowed by the 
sayd Edmund, & his hand at the latter end of the said booke they 
doe play. 

The forsed Haysell is nowe the chefe play or &c. 

Fridaye the 6 of Marche. 

Certen players came before M r Mayor at the Hall there beinge present 
M r John Tatam, M r George Tatam, M r Morton & M r Worship : who 
sayed they were the Earle of Wosters men : who sayd the forsyd 
playors were not lawfully aucthorysed, & that they had taken from 
them there commyssion, but it is untrue, for they forgat there box 
at the Inne in Leicester, & so these men gat yt & they sed the syd 
Haysell was not here hymself and they sent the same to Grantom 
to the syd Haysell who dwellith there. 

William Earle of Worcester &c. hath by his wrytinge dated the 
14 of Januarye Anno 25 0 Eliz. Reginae licensed his Seruants viz. 
Robert Browne, James Tunstall, Edward Allen, William Harryson, 
Thomas Cooke, Ry chard Johnes, Edward Browne, Ry chard Andrewes 
to playe & goe abrode, vsinge themselves orderly &c. (in theise words 
&c.) These are therefore to require all suche her Highnes offycers 
to whom these presents shall come, quietly & frendly within your 
severall presincts & corporacions to permytt & suffer them to passe 
with your furtherance vsinge & demeanynge themselves honestly & 
to geve them (the rather for my sake) suche intertaynement as other 
noble mens players haue (In Wytnes &c.) 

M r Mayor M r Ja. Clarke M r Robt Heyrycke 

M r Jo. Heyrycke M r George Tatam M r Ellys 

M r Noryce M r Morton M r Newcome. 

Memorandum that M r Mayor did geve the aforesaid playors an 
angell towards there dinner & wild them not to playe at this present : 
being Fryday the vj* h of Marche, for that the tyme was not con- 
veynyent. 

The foresaid playors mett M r Mayor in the strete nere M r Newcomes 
housse, after the angell was geven abowte a ij howers, who then 
craived lycense ageyne to play at there inn, & he told them they shold 
not, then they went away & seyd they wold play, whether he wold 
or not, & in dispite of hym, with dyvers other evyll & contemptyous 
words : Witness here of M r Newcome, M r Wycam, & William Dethicke. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 


223 


More, these men, contrary to M r Mayors comandment, went with 
their drum & trumppytts thorowe the Towne, in contempt of M* 
Mayor, neyther wold come at his comandment, by his offycer, viz. 
Worship. 

William Pateson my lord Harbards man , 

Thomas Powlton my lord of Worcesters manj ese ^ 

were they which dyd so much abuse M r Mayor in the aforesayd words. 

Nota. These sayd playors have submytted them selves, & are 
sorye for there words past, & craved pardon, desyeringe his worship 
not to write to there Master agayne them, & so vpon there submyssyn, 
they are lycensed to play this night at there inn, & also they have 
promysed that vppon the stage, in the begynyng of there play, to 
shoe vnto the hearers that they are licensed to playe by M r Mayor & 
with his good will & that they are sory for the words past. 

The latter part of this record is intelligible enough ; evidently 
there was a repetition of the misrule at Norwich. But the 
earlier part, which refers to a different matter altogether, is 
distinctly puzzling. The 4 theys ’ in the first sentence of the 
Corporation minute of 6 March are complicated, and it has 
sometimes been supposed that there was really a company 
of Master of the Revels* men, and that it was Worcester’s 
men who questioned the licence of these. 1 On the whole, 

I think that a different interpretation of the documents 
is the more natural one. No doubt Worcester’s men had 
found it necessary, as a result of the powers granted to 
Tilney as Master of the Revels by the patent of 24 December 
1581, to renew the authority under which they travelled. 
In addition to a fresh warrant from their lord licensing them 
to travel as his household servants, and dated 14 January 
1583, they obtained on the following 6 February 7 a further 
licence from Tilney, issued under the clause of his commis- 
sion which appointed him to 4 order and reforme, auctorise 
and put downe * all players in any part of England, whether 
they were 4 belonginge to any noble man * or otherwise. 2 
This licence, but not the other, they left at their inn in 
Leicester, while passing through on some previous occasion ; 
and here it was found by some unlicensed players, who 
appropriated it, and either through misunderstanding or 
through fraud, imposed it upon the Corporation as an instru- 
ment constituting a Master of the Revels’ company. There 
are two difficulties in this theory. One is that George Haysell, 
to whom Tilney’s licence was issued, is not one of the actors 
named in the Earl of Worcester’s warrant. But there are 
other cases in which the constitution of a company in the 

2 Cf. ch. ix and App. D, No. lvi. 


1 Gildersleeve, 53. 



224 the companies 

eyes of its lord was not quite the same as its constitution 
from the point of view of business relations, and I should 
suppose that Haysell, who was evidently not himself acting 
at the time, was the financier of the enterprise, and gave the 
bonds which Tilney would probably require for the satisfac- 
tion of the covenants of his indenture of licence. The other 
difficulty is that Leicester is not the only place in which the 
presence of a Master of the Revels’ company is recorded. 
Such a company was at Ludlow on 7 December 1583 and at 
Bath in 1583-4. 1 But, after all, this need mean no more than 
that the bogus company kept up their fraud for two or three 
months before they were exposed. If Tilney had really 
started a company of his own, it might have been expected to 
have a longer life. The establishment in 1583 of the Queen’s 
men makes it the less probable that he did so. 

The list of this provincial company, as it stood in January 
1583, is interesting, because at least four of its members, 
Robert Browne, Richard Jones, James Tunstall, and above 
all Edward Alleyn, then only a lad of sixteen, were destined 
to take a considerable share in the stage history of the future. 
Edward Browne, too, was afterwards one of the Admiral’s 
men. Of the rest, William Harrison, Thomas Cooke, Richard 
Andrewes, as well as of George Haysell (cf. ch. xv) and of the 
two players who were not named in the warrant, Thomas 
Powlton and William Pateson, Lord Herbert’s man, nothing 
or practically nothing further is known. 2 It is possible that 
the escapades of the company at Norwich and Leicester came, 
after all, to Worcester’s ears and aroused his displeasure. 
Visits are recorded to Coventry and Stratford in 1583-4, 
to Maidstone in 1584-5, to York in March 1585, and 
thereafter no more. It is also possible that the company 
passed from Worcester’s service into that of Lord Howard, 
when the latter became Lord Admiral in 1585. If so, a con* 
veyance by Richard Jones to Edward Alleyn on 3 January 
1589 of his share in a stock of apparel, play-books, and so 
forth, held jointly with Edward and John Alleyn and Robert 
Browne, must relate, not to a break up of Worcester’s men 
shortly before the death of the third earl, but to some internal 
change in the organization of the Admiral’s men. 3 In any 
case Mr. Fleay’s theory that Worcester’s men, other than 
Alleyn, became Pembroke’s in 1589 and only joined the 

1 Halliwell-Phillipps, Notices of Players Acting at Ludlow ; B. S. Penley, 
The Bath Stage , 12, from account for year ending 16 June 1584. 

2 Lord Herbert was, of course, Worcester's son ; not, as Dr. Greg 
(Henslowe, ii. 104) seems to think, one of the Pembroke family. 

3 Henslowe Papers , 31 ; cf. supra (Admiral’s). 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 


225 


Admiral's in 1594 is quite gratuitous, as there is no evidence 
of the existence of Pembroke’s men before 1592. 1 Whether 
there was a Worcester’s company or not from 1585 to 1589, 
there was certainly one after the accession of the fourth 
earl. It is traceable at Coventry in 1589-90, at Newcastle 
in October 1590, at Leicester during the last three months 
of the same year, at Coventry and Faversham in 1590-1, 
at Leicester on 26 June 1591 and again in the last three 
months of the year, at Coventry and Shrewsbury in 1591-2, 
at Ipswich in 1592-3, twice at Leicester in 1593, both before 
and after Michaelmas, twice at Bath in 1593-4, at Leicester 
before Michaelmas in 1595, at Ludlow on 3 December 1595, 
at Bath in 1595-6, at Leicester on 1 August 1596, at Bristol 
in August 1598, at York in April 1599, and at Coventry on 
3 January 1600 and in 1600-1 and 1601-2. 2 

By the end of 1601 the Earl of Worcester was holding 
the Mastership of the Horse and other important offices 
at Court, and may have thought it consonant with his 
dignity to have London players under his patronage. On 
3 January 1602 his company was at Court. On 31 March 
the Privy Council, after attempting for some years to limit 
the number of London companies to two, made an order 
that Oxford’s and Worcester’s men, ‘ beinge ioyned by 
agrement togeather in on companie ’, should be allowed 
to play at the Boar’s Head and nowhere else. 3 In the course 
of 1602 How a Man may Choose a Good Wife from a Bad was 
published as played by Worcester’s men. By 17 August 
the company were in relations, under the style of 4 my lorde 
of Worsters players ’, with Henslowe, who opened an account 
of advances made for their play-books and apparel, on the 
same lines as that which he kept during 1597-1603 with 
the Admiral’s men. 4 An early entry is of gs. for a supper 
* at the Mermayd when we weare at owre a grement ’. The 
account was continued until the spring of 1603, when 
Henslowe’s famous diary was disused. No theatre is named, 
but it is probable that, with or without leave from the Privy 
Council, the company moved to the Rose, which had been 
vacated by the Admiral’s men on the opening of the Fortune 

1 Fleay, 87. 8 Murray, i. 58, adds 1589-94 records. 

* App. D, No. cxxx. 

4 Henslowe, i. 179. As Henslowe paid 7s. * for my Lo r Worsters 
mens warant for playinge at the cort vnto the clarke of the cown- 
selles for geatynge the cownselles handes to yt * (Henslowe Papers , 
108), and the only warrant to these men was dated 28 Feb. 1602, the 
connexion with Henslowe probably began while they were still at the 
Boar's Head. 

22292 Q 



226 THE COMPANIES 

in 1600. Certainly this was so by May 1603, when an acquit- 
tance for an advance entered in the account refers to a play 
to be written for 1 * * 4 * the Earle of Worcesters players at the 
Rose There is no complete list of the company in the diary. 
The names of those members incidentally mentioned, as 
authorizing payments or otherwise, are John Duke, Thomas 
Blackwood, William Kempe, John Thare, John Lowin, 
Thomas Heywood, Christopher Beeston, Robert Pallant, 
and a Cattanes whose first name is not preserved. The 
payees for the performance of 1601-2 were Kempe and Hey- 
wood. One Underell was in receipt of wages from the com- 
pany, together with a tireman, who made purchases of stuffs 
for them. It is impossible to say which of these men had been 
with Worcester’s and which with Oxford’s before the 
amalgamation. Heywood, who was playwright as well as 
actor, had written for the Admiral’s from 1596 to 1599, and 
had bound himself to play in Henslowe’s house for two years 
from 25 March 1598. Pallant had been with Strange’s or the 
Admiral’s in 1590-1, and Duke, Kempe, and Beeston with 
the Chamberlain’s in 1598. Since then Kempe had travelled 
abroad, returning in September 1601. It is little more than a 
guess that some of these men may have played with Henslowe 
as Pembroke’s. 2 Several members of the company borrowed 
money from Henslowe, in some cases before their connexion 
with the Rose began. Duke had a loan as early as 21 Septem- 
ber 1600, and Kempe on 10 March 1602. 3 Blackwood and 
Lowin borrowed on 12 March 1603 to go into the country 
with the company. 4 This was, no doubt, when playing in 
London was suspended owing to the illness of Elizabeth* 
A loan for a similar purpose was made on the same day to 
Richard Perkins, and suggests that he too was already one 
of Worcester’s men. There is, indeed, an earlier note of 
4 September 1602 connecting him with one Dick Syferweste, 
whose fellows were then in the country, while Worcester’s 
were, of course, at the Rose. But this itself makes it clear 
that he was interested in a play of Heywood’s, which can 
hardly be other than that then in preparation at the Rose, 
and perhaps Syferwest was an unfortunate comrade in 
Oxford’s or Worcester’s, who had been left out at the 
reconstruction. 6 

1 Henslowe, i. 160, 190. 2 Cf. supra (Chamberlain’s). 

3 Henslowe, i. 132, 163. 4 Ibid. 177. 

6 Ibid. 178, * Lent vnto Richard Perckens the 4 of September 1602 to 

buy thinges for Thomas Hewode play & to lend vnto Dick Syferweste to 

ride downe to his felowes '. This is, of course, a private loan, and not 

in the company's account. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 227 

During the seven months of the account Worcester’s men 
bought twelve new plays. These were : 

A Medicine for a Curst Wife (Dekker). 

Albere Galles (Heywood and Smith). 

Marshal Osric (Heywood and Smith). 

The Three Brothers (Smith). 1 

1 Lady Jane, or, The Overthrow of Rebels 2 (Chettle, Dekker, 
Heywood, Smith, and Webster). 

Christmas Comes but Once a Year (Chettle, Dekker, Hey- 
wood, and Webster). 

1 The Black Dog of Newgate (Day, Hathaway, Smith, and 
another). 

The Blind Eats Many a Fly (Heywood). 

The Unfortunate General (Day, Hathaway, and Smith). 

2 The Black Dog of Newgate (Day, Hathaway, Smith, and 
another). 

A Woman Killed with Kindness (Heywood). 

The Italian Tragedy (Smith). 

As a rule the price was £6 a play ; occasionally £1 or £2 more. 
Dekker had 105. 4 over & above his price of ’ A Medicine 
for a Curst Wife. This had originally been begun for the 
Admiral’s and was evidently transferred to Worcester’s by 
arrangement. After buying 2 Black Dog of Newgate for £7, 
the company apparently did not like it, and paid £2 more for 
4 adycyones ’. It is possible to verify from the purchase of 
properties the performance of nine of the twelve plays. 
These are Albere Galles (September), The Three Brothers 
(October), Marshal Osric (November), 1 Lady Jane (Novem- 
ber), Christmas Comes but Once a Year (December), I Black 
Dog of Newgate (January), The Unfortunate General (January), 
2 Black Dog of Neivgate (February), and A Woman Killed with 
Kindness (March). The production of this last may, however, 
have been interfered with by Elizabeth’s death. Two plays 
of the series are extant, A Woman Killed with Kindness , 
printed in 1607 and described in 1617 as a Queen’s play, and 
1 Lady Jane , which may be reasonably identified with Sir 
Thomas Wyatt y also printed in 1607 as a Queen’s play, and by 
Dekker and Webster. Dr. Greg regards Mr. Fleay’s identifica- 
tion of Albere Galles with Nobody and Somebody as 4 reason- 
able * ; but it appears to rest on little, except the fact that 
the latter was also printed as a Queen’s play (S. R. 12 March 
1606) and the conjecture that the title of the former might 

1 Called in the earlier entries The Two Brothers. 

2 The two names do not occur together, but almost certainly indicate 
the same play. 



228 


THE COMPANIES 


be a corruption of Archigallo. Payments were made in respect 
of a few contemplated plays, which apparently remained 
incomplete at the end of the season. These were 2 Lady Jane 
'(Dekker), an unnamed tragedy by Chettle, an unnamed play 
by Middleton, and another unnamed play by Chettle and 
Heywood. The company also produced some plays of earlier 
date. Sir John Oldcastle was presumably transferred to them 
from the Admiral’s men, for Dekker had £2 10 s. in respect of 
new additions to it in August and September. Heywood 
also had £1 in September for additions to a play called 
Cutting Dicky as to the origin of which nothing is known ; 
and properties were bought in October for Byron 1 and for 
Absalom . Possibly the latter is identical with The Three 
Brothers. Worcester’s men did not perform at Court in 
1602-3, but they must have expected a summons, as on 
1 January they bought head-tires of one Mrs. Calle 4 for the 
corte ’. Amongst their tradesmen were also Goodman 
Freshwater, who supplied 4 a canvas sewt and skenes ’, 
apparently for a stage dog, and John Willett, mercer, on 
whose arrest John Duke found himself in the Clink at the end 
of the season. Their expenditure was at a fairly high rate, 
amounting to a total of £234 ns. 6 d. for the seven months. 
Unlike the Admiral’s men, they spent more on apparel and 
properties than on play-books. Some of their purchases were 
costly enough, 4 a grogren clocke, ij veluet gerkens, ij dubletes 
and ij hed tyres ’ from Edward Alleyn for £20, 4 a manes 
gowne of branshed velluet & a dublett ’ from Christopher 
Beeston for £6, and 4 iiij clothe clockes layd with coper lace ’ 
from Robert Shaw, formerly of the Admiral’s, for £16. On 
this last transaction they had to allow Henslowe £1 as interest 
on his money. A 4 flage of sylke ’, no doubt for the theatre 
roof, cost them £1 65. 8 d . 2 In summing his account, 
Henslowe made various errors, whereby he robbed himself 
of £1 is. 3 d. } and presented a claim to the company 
for £140 15. It may be inferred that they had already 
repaid him £93 125. 3 d. y but of this there is no record in the 
diary. He prepared an acknowledgement to be signed by all 
the members of the company, but the only signature actually 
attached is Blackwode’s. 

On 9 May 1603 Henslowe notes 4 Begininge to playe agayne 
by the Kynges licence & layd out sense for my lord of 
Worsters men as folowethe * ; but the only entry is one of £2 
paid in earnest to Chettle and Day for a play of Shore's Wife. 

1 Spelt ' Burone ' and ‘ Berowne * in the entries. 

8 Henslowe, i. 180, 183, 185, x86, 187, 190. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 229 

If playing was actually resumed, it was not long before the 
plague drove the companies out of London again, and there 
is nothing more of Worcester’s men in the diary. Two visits 
from them are recorded at Leicester in the course of 1603-* 
and two at Coventry and one at Barnstaple, whence they 
departed without playing, during 1602-3. Early in the new 
reign the company was taken into the patronage of Queen 
Anne. 1 This change was probably effected by Christmas, 
and certainly by 19 February 1604, when John Duke obtained 
a warrant on account of plays performed before Prince 
Henry by ‘ the Queenes Majesties players * on the previous 
2 and 13 January. The Queen’s men are named in the Privy 
Council letter permitting the resumption of playing on 
9 April 1604, which indicates their house as the Curtain. 
A list of players is found amongst other ‘ officers to the 
Queene * receiving four and a half yards of red cloth apiece 
for the coronation procession of 15 March 1604. 2 The names 
given are 4 Christopher Beeston, Robert Lee, John Duke, 
Robert Palante, Richard Purkins, Thomas Haward, James 
Houlte, Thomas Swetherton, Thomas Grene, and Robert 
Beeston ’. Evidently several leading members had left the 
company. Kempe was probably dead. 3 Thare and Black- 
wood were on tour in Germany; Lowin seems to have joined 
the King’s men. Of Cattanes and Underell no more is known. 
The same ten names are found in a draft patent for a royal 
licence to the Queen’s men, of which the text follows : 4 

lames, by the grace of God kynge of England, Scotland, Fraunce 
and Irelande, defender of the faith &c: To all Iustices of peace , Maiors, 
Sherryfes, vicechancellours of any our universities , Bailiff es [Constables], 
headboroughes, [and other our officers] Constables , and to all other our 
Officers , mynisters and lov[e]inge subiectes to whorne it may appertaine 
Greeting. Knowe yee that wee of our speciall grace, certaine know- 
ledge, and mere motion haue lycensed and awthorised, and by these 
presentes doe lycence and awthorise Thomas Greene, Christopher 

1 Cf. p. 7. A further notice of the transfer is given by Thomas Hey- 
wood, Twaucdav or General History of Women (1624), who says that he was 
one of Worcester’s men, who at James’s accession ‘ bestowed me upon the 
excellent princesse Queen Anne ’. 

2 N. S. S. Trans. (1S77-9), l6 *» from Lord Chamberlain's Books, 58®. In 
August the company served as grooms of the chamber (App. B). 

3 In assigning Kempe to the Queen’s Revels in 1605, Dr. Greg (Henslowe, 
ii. 108) has been tripped up by one of Collier’s forgeries ; cf. my review 
in M. L. R. iv. 408. 

4 Printed in Af. S. C. i. 265, from 5 . P. D. Jac. /, ii. 100 ; also by 
Collier, i. 336, and Halliwell-Phillipps, Illustrations , 106. It is a rough 
draft full of deletions, marked by square brackets, and of additions, printed 
in italics, in the text. The theory of Fleay, 191, that the document is a 
forgery is disposed of by Greg, Henslowe* s Diary , ii. 107. 



230 THE COMPANIES 

Beeston, Thomas Hawood, Richard Pyrkins, Robert Pallant, Iohn Duke, 
Thomas Swynerton, I[e]ames Ho[u]lt, Robert Beeston, & Robert Lee, 
servauntes vnto our dearer [and welbeloved] wyfe the Queene Anna, 
with the rest of there Associates, freely to vse and exercise the art 
and faculty of playinge Comedies, Tragedies, Histories, Enterludes, 
Morralls, Pastoralls, Stage plaies, and such other lyke as they haue 
already studied, or hereafter shall vse or stud[d]y, as well for the 
recreacion of our lovinge subiectes as for our solace and pleasure, 
when wee shall thinke good to see them, during our pleasure ; And 
the said Comedies, Tragedies, Histories, Enterludes, Morralls, Pasto- 
ralls, Stage plaies, and such like, to shew and exercise publikly, when 
the infeccion of the plague shall decrease to the nomber of thirty 
weekly within our Citie of London and the liberties therof, aswell 
within there now vsuall Howsen, called the Curtayne, and the Bores 
head, within our County of Middlesex, [or] as in any other play howse 
not vsed by others, by the said Thomas Greene elected, or by him 
hereafter to be builte, and also within any Towne Halls, or Mouthalls, 
or other convenyent places, within the liberties and freedomes of any 
Cittie, vniversitie, Towne, or Boroughe whatsoeuer, within our said 
Realmes and domynyons : Willing and Commaundinge yowe and 
euerie of yowe, as you tender our pleasure, not only to permytt and 
suffer them [herein] to vse and exercise the said art of playinge without 
any your Lettes hinderaunces or molestacions,duringe our said pleasure, 
but also to be aydinge and assistinge vnto them, yf any wronge be to 
them offered, and to allow them such [former] curtesies, as hath here- 
tofore bene given vnto any men of theire qualitie : [And also what 
further favour, any of our subiectes shall shew to theise our deare 
and loveinge wyfes servauntes, for our sake, wee shall take kyndly at 
your handes. Yeouen at the daye of 

In the yere of our Raygne of England: &c:] 

Gyuen &c. 

[Endorsed] The Quenes Plaiers. 

This draft is undated. But it was prepared during a plague, 
and located the Queen’s men at the Boar’s Head ; and as they 
may reasonably be supposed to have exchanged the Boar’s 
Head for the Red Bull (q.v.) before the plague of 1606 began, 
it may be conjecturally assigned to that of 1603-4. Probably 
it never passed the Great Seal, for if it had there would have 
been no necessity, so far as one can judge, for a later patent of 
15 April 1609, which is on the rolls, and which closely follows 
the earlier draft in its terms, except that it omits the reference 
to the plague, names the Red Bull instead of the Boar’s Head 
as one of the company’s regular houses, and adds a saving 
clause for the rights of the Master of the Revels. Here is the 
text : 1 


1 Printed in M. S . C. i. 270, from P. R. 7 Jac, I, pt. 39 ; also from 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 


231 


^ _. lames by the grace of God &c. To all Iustices. 

tie Thome^Greene^t Ma y° rs > Sheriffes, Baylieffes, Constables, head- 
a lji s borrowes and other our Officers and lovinge 

Subiectes Greetinge. Knowe yee that wee of 
our especiall grace certayne knowledge and meere mocion have lycenced 
and aucthorised and by these presentes doe lycence and aucthorize 
Thomas Greene, Christofer Beeston, Thomas Haywood, Richard 
Pirkyns, Richard Pallant, Thomas Swinnerton, Iohn Duke, Robert 
Lee, lames Haulte, and Robert e Beeston, Servantes to our moste 
deerely beloved wiefe Queene Anne, and the reste of theire Associates, 
to vse and exercise the arte and faculty of playinge Comedies, Trage- 
dies, historyes, Enterludes, Moralles, Pastoralles, Stageplayes and 
suche other like, as they have already studied or heareafter shall vse 
or studye, -aswell for the recreacion of our loving Subiectes as for our 
solace and pleasure when wee shall thinke good to see them, during our 
pleasure. And the said Comedies, Tragedies, histories, Enterludes, 
Moralles, Pastoralles, Stageplayes and suche like to shewe and exercise 
publiquely and openly to theire beste commoditye, aswell within 
theire nowe vsuall houses called the Redd Bull in Clarkenwell and the 
Curtayne in Hallowell, as alsoe within anye Towne halles, Mouthalles 
and other convenient places within the libertye and freedome of any 
other Citty, vniuersitye, Towne or Boroughe whatsoever within our 
Realmes and Domynions. Willing and Commaundinge you and every 
of you, as you tender our pleasure, not only to permitt and suffer them 
herein without any your lettes hinderances or molestacions during our 
said pleasure, but alsoe to be aydinge [and] assistinge vnto them, yf 
anye wronge be to them offered, and to allowe them suche former 
curtesies as hath byn given to men of theire place and qualitye, and 
alsoe what favoure you shall shewe to them for our sake wee shall 
take kyndly at your handes. Prouided alwaies and our will and 
pleasure is that all aucthoritye, power, priuiledges, and profyttes 
whatsoeuer belonginge and properly appertayninge to Master of 
Revelles in respecte of his Office and everye Cause, Article or graunte 
contayned within the lettres Patentes or Commission, which have byn 
heretofore graunted or directed by the late Queene Elizabeth our deere 
Sister or by our selues to our welbeloued Servant Edmond Tylney 
Master of the Office of our said Revelles or to Sir George Bucke knighte 
or to eyther of them in possession or revercion, shalbe remayne and 
abyde entyer and full in effecte, force, estate and vertue as ample sorte 
as if this our Commission had never byn made. In witnes wherof &c. 
Witnes our selfe at Westminster the fifteenth daye of Aprill. 

per breve de priuato sigillo &c. 

It will be observed that the documents quoted disclose no 
change in the composition of the Queen's official servants 

P. R., but misdescribed as a Privy Seal, by T. E. Tomlins in Sh. Soc . 
Papers , iv. 45. The Signet Bill is indexed under April 1609 in Phillimore, 
104. 



232 


THE COMPANIES 


between 1604 and 1609. But the question of personnel is 
not really quite so simple as this, since the members of 
a company under a trade agreement were not always the same 
as those named in the authority under which it performed. 
Before discussing this complication, it will be simplest first to 
set out separately the notices of the Queen’s men, which have 
been preserved in London and in provincial records respectively. 

Queen’s men played at Court on 30 December 1605, in 
Heywood’s How to Learn of a Woman to Woo , which is not 
extant. They played also on 27 December 1606. For both 
years their payee was, as in 1604, John Duke. During 1607 
Dekker and \Yebster’s Sir Thomas Wyatt and Day, Wilkins, 
and Rowley’s Travels of Three English Brothers were printed 
with their name on the title-pages. The latter play, according 
to the entry of 29 June 1607 in the Stationers’ Register, was 
acted at the Curtain. But it is shown by a passage in The 
Knight of the Burning Pestle to have been also on the stage 
of the Red Bull. In this house Thomas Swinnerton, one of 
the men named in the patents, acquiree} an interest between 
24 March 1605 and 23 March 1606, and all the evidence is 
in favour of a continuous sojourn of Queen’s men there until 
1617. The first quarto of Heywood’s A Woman Killed with 
Kindness , also printed in 1607, does not bear their name, 
but it is on that of the 4 third edition * of 1617. They are 
not named as playing at Court during the winter of 1607-8, 
but in the course of 1608 Heywood’s Rape of Lucrece was 
printed, as played by them at the Red Bull. They gave 
five plays at Court in the winter of 1608-9, one on 27 Decem- 
ber 1609, three on 10 and one on 27 December 1610. Hey- 
wood’s Golden Age was printed, as played by them at the 
Red Bull, in 1611. The Court records of 1611-12 are a little 
confused. 1 But they appear to have played Cooke’s City 
Gallant on 27 December, his Tu Quoque , which is in fact the 
same play, on 2 February, to have joined with the King’s men 
in performances of Heywood’s Silver Age and Rape of Lucrece 
on 12 and 13 January, and to have played unnamed pieces 
on 21 and 23 January. From 1609 to 1612 their payee was 
Thomas Greene. Webster’s White Devil and Dekker’s If It 
he not Good , the Devil is in It , were printed as theirs in 1612, 
the former with a laudation of the acting of ‘ my freind 
Maister Perkins ’, the latter as played at the Red Bull. 
They did not play at Court during "the winter of 1612-13, 
but did on 24 December 1613 and 5 January 1614. Tu 
Quoque was printed as theirs in 1614. In the winter 
of 1614-15 they gave three plays at Court. Heywood’s 

1 Cf. App. B. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 


233 


Four Prentices of London was printed in 1615 as played 
by them at the Red Bull, and their name is also on The 
Honest Lawyer , registered on 14 August 1615 and printed 
in 1616. They gave four plays at Court during the winter 
of 1615-16. For all their Court plays from 1613-16 Robert 
Lee was payee, but Ellis Worth replaces him for a Somerset 
House performance before Queen Anne on 17 December 1615. 
When they were called with other companies before the Privy 
Council on 29 March 1615 to answer for playing in Lent, 
they were represented by Lee and Christopher Beeston. 
The records of the Middlesex justices contain a note of 
4 October 1616 that Beeston and the rest of the players at 
the Red Bull were in arrears to the extent of £5 on an annual 
rate of £2 agreed to by them for the repair of the highways. 

Provincial visits of Queen’s men are recorded in November 

1605 at Dover ; in 1605 at Leicester ; in 1605-6 at Bath, 
Coventry, Saffron Walden, and Weymouth ; on 25 July 

1606 at Ipswich ; on 4 September 1606 at Ludlow ; in 1606 
at York ; in 1606-7 at Bath (twice), Coventry, Exeter, and 
Ipswich ; on 14 August 1607 at Oxford ; on 12 September 

1607 at Belvoir (Earl of Rutland’s) ; 1 in 1607 at Barnstaple, 
Leicester, and Reading ; in 1607-8 at Coventry, Oxford, 
Reading, and Shrewsbury ; on 6 June and 26 September 1608 
at Leicester ; 2 in 1608-9 at Coventry, 3 Marlborough, and 
Shrewsbury ; between 8 July and 9 August 1609 at Dover ; 
on 15 October 1609 at Norwich ; in 1609 at Canterbury ; in 
1609-10 at Shrewsbury and Stafford ; about 23 March 
1610 at Maidstone ; on 2 November 1610 at Ipswich ; on 
31 December 1610 at Leicester ; in 1610-11 at Shrewsbury 
and Southampton ; on 27 February 1611 (for a week) at 
Norwich ; between 11 April and 9 May and between 29 August 
and 29 September 1612 at Dover ; on 14 June and 26 October 
1612 at Leicester ; in 1611-12 at Saffron Walden; in 1612-13 
at Barnstaple, Coventry (perhaps twice), and Ipswich ; on 
18 February 1613 at Marlborough ; on 16 March 1613 at 
Leicester; between 13 April and 15 May 1613 at Dover; on 
2 November 1613 at Marlborough ; on 22 December 1613 
at Leicester ; in 1613-14 at Saffron Walden, Marlborough, 
Oxford, and Shrewsbury ; on 27 April 1614 (for three days) at 

1 Rutland MSS. iv. 461. They stayed two days, and gave four per- 
formances. 

2 Kelly, 248, ‘ Item the vj th of June given to the Queenes Players 
xl 8 . . . . Item the xxj th of Auguste given to the Children of the Re veils 
xx 8 . Item the xxvj th of September given to one other Companye of the 
Queenes playors xx 8 .* 

3 Murray, ii. 245, ‘ paid to the Queenes players to Thomas Swiner- 
ton xl 8 ’. 



234 


THE COMPANIES 


Norwich ; 1 between 3 and 29 September 1614 at Dover ; in 
1614-15 at Barnstaple and Doncaster (perhaps twice) ; on 
15 April 1615 at Coventry ; in April or May 1615 at Leicester ; 
on 6 May 1615 at Norwich ; 2 on 16 October 1615 and again 
later in 1615 and on 22 February 1616 at Leicester ; 3 on 
7 November 1615 at Marlborough ; in 1615-16 at Barn- 
staple, Dunwich (thrice), Southampton, and Weymouth ; 
in January 1616 at Nottingham ; between 20 January and 
17 February 1616 and between 11 May and 8 June at Dover; 
on 17 February 1616 at Coventry ; on 22 February 1616 at 
Leicester ; between 1 and 6 April (four days) and on 29 May 
1616 at Norwich ; 4 * on 26 October 1616 at Marlborough ; 
and on 6 February 1617 and again later in 1617 at Leicester. 6 * 

There were thus tours in each year, which sometimes 
extended over periods during which the London theatres 
must have been open. The Leicester notices of 1608, 1615, 
and 1617 suggest that more than one company was at work, 
and the explanation certainly is that some of the players 
named in the patent, instead of joining the London organiza- 
tion, had recourse to making up companies of their own for 
provincial purposes. Of this there is further evidence. The 
Southampton archives contain a copy of the following 
warrant from Queen Anne herself, dated on 7 March 1606: 6 

1 Murray, ii. 340, from Mayor’s Court Books (18 April 1614), * Swynner- 
ton one of the Quenes players in the name of himselfe & the rest of his 
company desyred leaue to play in the cytty accordinge to his Maiesties 
Lettres patents shewed forth. And M r Maior & Court moved them to 
play onely on Wednesday, Thursday & Fryday in Easter weke.’ 

2 Murray, ibid. (6 May 1615), * Thomas Swynnerton produced this day 
Letters Patents dated the x th [? xv th ] of Aprill Anno Septimo Jacobi 
whereby hee & others are authorised to play as the Quenes men, vida;. 
Thomas Grene, Christofer Breston [? Beeston], Thomas Haywood, Richard 
Pyrkyns, Rob*. Pallant, Tho. Swynnerton, John Duke, Robt. Lee, James 
Hoult, & Robt. Breston [? Beeston]/ 

3 Kelly, 252, ‘ Item given to the Queenes Maiesties Highnes Playors 
xl B . . . . Item the xvj^ daye of October Given to the Queenes Playors xl B . 
Item given to one other Companye of the Queenes Playors xxx 8 .' 

4 Murray, ii. 340 (30 March 1616), ‘A Patent was this day brought 
into the Court by Thomas Swynerton made to Thomas Grene ... & 
Robert Beeston Servants to Quene Anne & the rest of their associats 
bearing Teste xv° Aprilis Anno Septimo Jacobi. But the said Swynerton 
confesseth that hee himselfe & Robert Lee only are here to play the rest 

are absent . . / ; (29 May 1616), ‘ Thomas Swynerton came this day into 
the Court & affirmed himselfe to be one of the players to the Quenes 
Maiestie & bringinge with him no patent desyred to haue leaue to play 
here . . . the same company had liberty to play here at Easter last. . . / 
Leave was refused on this occasion. 

6 Kelly, 253, * Item the sixt of Februarye given to the Queenes Playors. 

Item given to one other Companye of the Queenes Playors \ 

• Hist. MSS. xi. 3. 26. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES f 235 

4 Warrant from the Queenes Majestie of her Players. Anna Regina. 
Anne by the grace of God Queene of England, Scottland, Fraunce, and 
Ireland. To all Justices of the Peace, Maiors, Sheriffs, Bayliffes, and 
all other his Majestes Officers and loving subiectes to whom yt shall 
or may appertaine greetinge, Know yee that of our speciall grace and 
favour, Wee are well pleased to authorize under our hand and signett 
the bearers hereof our swome servauntes Robert Lee, Martin Statier 
and Roger Barfield with theyr fellowes and associates being our Corn- 
medians vppon theyr humble Suite unto us for theyr better mainete- 
naunce, Yf att annie time they should have occasion to travell into 
anie parte of his Majestes Dominions to playe Tragedyes, historyes, 
commedies and pastoralls as well in anie about the Cittye of London, 
and in all other cittyes vniversities and townes at all time anie times 
(the time of divine seruice onlye excepted) Theise are therefore to will 
and requier you uppon the sight hereofe quiettlye and favourably 
with your best favours, to permitt and suffer them, to use theyr sayd 
qualitye within your Jurisdictions without anie of your molestacions 
or troubles, and also to affourd them your Townehalls and all other 
such places as att anie time have been used by men of theyr qualitye. 
That they maye be in the better readiness for our seruise when they 
shalbe thereunto commaunded, Nott doubtinge butt that our sayd 
servauntes shall find the more favour for our sake in your best assis- 
taunce. Wherein you shall doe unto us acceptable pleasure. Given 
att the Court of Whitehall, the seaventh daye of Marche 1605/ 

Of these three men, Lee, and Lee alone, appears in the London 
lists of 1603, 1604, and 1609. Of Barfield’s career nothing 
more is known. Martin Slater, whose name can be divined 
under that of Statier, had left the Admiral’s in 1597. He was 
probably in Scotland during 1599, and if so his patronage 
by Anne may be analogous to the patronage by James, which 
brought Laurence Fletcher’s name into the King’s men’s 
patent. In 1603 he was payee for Hertford’s men. Presum- 
ably the enterprise of 1606 did not last long, for in the spring 
of 1608 Slater became manager for the King’s Revels. His 
place in the provinces may have been taken by Thomas 
Swinnerton, who was leading a company of Queen’s men 
at Coventry in 1608-9, and whose departure from the London 
company is perhaps indicated by the fact that at about the 
same time he sold a share, which he had held in the house of 
the Red Bull. Swinnerton was travelling again in 1614-16 
and using an exemplification of the patent of 1609. In 1616 
he was accompanied by Robert Lee, who for two years before 
had been acting as payee for the London company. Lee 
came again with the exemplification to Norwich on 31 May 
1617, and it was then noted to have been taken out on 
7 January 1612. A few days later, on 4 June 1617, a copy 
was entered in the Norwich court-books of a warrant by the 



236 


THE COMPANIES 


Lord Chamberlain of 16 July 1616, condemning the use of 
such exemplifications, and specifying amongst others two 
taken out by Thomas Swinnerton and Martin Slater, * beinge 
two of the Queens Maiesties company of Playors hauing 
separated themselves from their said Company \ l Slater 
had, therefore, returned to the provincial field, and there 
were now two travelling companies of Queen’s men. I take 
it that in 1617 the Lord Chamberlain succeeded in suppressing 
them, and that the Queen’s men who continued to appear 
in the provinces up to Anne’s death on 2 March 1619 were 
the London company. 2 Lee joined the Queen’s Revels as 
reorganized under a licence of 31 October 1617. Slater, about 
the same time, joined the Children of Bristol, for whom, 
with John Edmonds and Nathaniel Clay, he got letters of 
assistance in April 1618. In these all three are described as 
her Majesty’s servants. Swinnerton apparently succeeded 
in keeping on foot a company of his own, which visited 
Leicester in 1619. 3 The Bristol company was in fact under 
Anne’s patronage, but Lee and Swinnerton, no less than 
Slater and Edmonds, remained technically .. the Queen’s 
servants, and are included with the London men in a list of the 
players who received mourning at her funeral on 13 May 
1619. 4 * These were Robert Lee, Richard Perkins, Christopher 
Beeston, Robert Pallant, Thomas Heywood, James Holt, 
Thomas Swinnerton, Martin Slater, Ellis Wroth, John 
Comber, Thomas Basse, John Blaney, William Robinson, 
John Edmonds, Thomas Drewe, Gregory Sanderson, and 
John Garret. 

The list of seventeen names includes seven of the ten 
patentees of 1609. I do not know what had become of John 
Duke and Robert Beeston. Thomas Greene had died in 
August 1612, having made on 25 July a will, amongst the 
witnesses to which were Christopher Beeston, Heywood, and 
Perkins. The disposal of his property led many years after- 
wards to a lawsuit, which gives valuable information as to 
both the personnel and the organization of the London com- 
pany. After providing for his family and making some small 
legacies, including one to John Cumber, and 40 s. to ‘ my 
fellowes of the house of the Redd Bull, to buy gloves for them ’, 
he left the residue to his widow and executrix, Susanna Greene, 
formerly wife of one Browne. 6 In June 1613 she took a third 

1 App. D, No. clviii ; cf. Murray, ii. 343. 

2 Murray, i. 204. 3 Kelly, 254. 

4 Collier, i. 397, from a manuscript at Bridgewater House. 

6 Fleay, 192, guesses that her first husband was Robert Browne of the 

1583 Worcester's company. As Queen Anne’s men played at the Boar's 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 237 

husband, James Baskervile. The following is her account in 
1623 of certain transactions with the company. Shortly 
before Greene's death had died George Pulham, a 4 half 
sharer ' in the company, which is described as being in 1612 
4 the companie of the actors or players of the late queenus 
majestie Queene Anne, then vsuallie frequentinge and 
playinge att the signe of the Redd Bull in St. Johns Street, 
in Clerkenwell parishe, in the county of Middlesex His 
representatives received £40 from the company in respect 
of his half -share. This was under an agreement formerly 
made amongst the company 4 concerninge the part and 
share of euerie one of the sharers and half sharers of the said 
companie according to the rate and proporcion of their shares 
or half shares in that behalfe Under the same agreement 
Susanna Greene, whose husband was ‘one of the principall 
and cheif persons of the said companie, and a full adventurer, 
storer and sharer of in and amongst them ’, claimed £80, 
together with £37 laid out by him before his death in 4 diuers 
necessarie prouisions ’ for the company. In order to get 
satisfaction she had to appeal to Viscount Lisle, Chamberlain 
of the Queen’s Household, 4 who hadd a kind of gouernment 
and suruey ouer the said players It was arranged that 
Mrs. Greene should receive a half-share in the profits until 
the debt was paid. By the time, however, of her marriage 
with Baskervile, she had only received £6. In June 1615 
negotiations took place between the Baskerviles and the 
company, who then included Worth, Perkins, and Christopher 
Hutchinson, alias Beeston, by which the Baskerviles agreed 
to invest £57 105. in the enterprise and to accept in discharge 
of their claims a pension for their joint lives of is. Sd. a day 
4 for euerye of sixe daies in the weeke wherin they should 
play The company defaulted, and in June 1616 a second 
settlement was made, whereby the Baskerviles invested 
another £38, a further pension of 25. a day was established, 
and the life of Susan’s son, Francis Browne (or Baskervile), was 
substituted for her husband’s. The players were Christopher 
Beeston, Thomas Heywood, Ellis Worth, John Cumber, 
John Blaney, Francis Walpole, Robert Reynolds, William 
Robins, Thomas Drewe, and Emanuel Read. 1 Again they 
defaulted, and moreover fell into arrear for the wages of 

Head, he is very likely to have been the 4 Browne of the Boares head * 
who * dyed very pore ' in the plague of 1603 (Henslowe Papers, 59). 

1 Murray, i. 193, appears to date this list c. 1612, and the allegation in 
the BiU (Fleay, 275) that the pensions were paid for five years supports 
this. But it cannot be earlier than 1613 as Read was still with the Lady 
Elizabeth's in that year. Nor does it include Lee, who was payee for the 
Queen's in 1614-16. It clearly belongs to the 1616 settlement. 



238 THE COMPANIES 

another of Susan Baskervile’s sons, William Browne, who 
played with them as a hired man. A third settlement, reassur- 
ing the pensions, and substituting William Browne for Francis, 
who was now dead, was made on 3 June 1617, when the 
company were 4 now comme, or shortlie to comme from the 
said Playhowse called the Redd Bull to the Playhowse in 
Drurie Lane called the Cockpitt ’ ; and to this the parties, 
so far as the company were concerned, were Beeston, Hey- 
wood, Worth, Cumber, Walpole, Blaney, Robins, and Drewe. 
Apparently Reynolds and Read, and also Perkins and Thomas 
Basse, although their names were recited in the deed, refused 
to seal. Some further light is thrown on this by allegations 
of Worth, Cumber, and Blaney, in opposition to those of 
Mrs. Baskervile in 1623. The company of 1617 contained 
some members 4 new come into ’ it, 4 which were of other 
companyes at the tyme of graunting the first annuity ’. The 
terms of the agreement were carefully looked into, and were 
found to bind the company to procure the subscription of 
any future new members to its terms. This was inconsistent 
with a proviso of 1616 that the pensions should only last 
so long as four of those then signing should play together ; 
and therefore, while some of the company signed and gave 
bonds by way of security on an oral promise by Mrs. Basker- 
vile that this proviso should in fact hold good, others refused 
to do so. These were the wiser, for in 1623, when Worth, 
Cumber, and Blaney were the only three of the 1617 signatories 
who still held together, Mrs. Baskervile sued them on their 
bonds, and although they applied to Chancery for equitable 
enforcement of the alleged oral promise, Chancery held that 
the agreement, being made between players, was 4 vnfitt to 
be releeued or countenaunced in a courte of equitie ’. In 
some other respects the players’ account of the transactions 
differs from Mrs. Baskervile’s, and in particular they alleged 
that the Baskerviles had secured their interest by bribing 
Beeston, to whom 4 your oratours and the rest of thier 
fellowes at that tyme and long before and since did put the 
managing of thier whole businesses and affaires belonging 
vnto them ioyntly as they were players in trust *, so that 
she knew well that whatever he promised the rest 4 would 
allowe of the same This Mrs. Baskervile repudiates as 
regards the bribe, and does not wholly accept as regards 
Beeston’s position in the company, although she admits that 
both before and after her husband’s death they 4 did putt 
much affiance in the said Huttchinson alias Beeston, con- 
cerninge the managing of their affaires *. 

I am afraid that Beeston’s character does not come 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 


239 


altogether unstained out of another suit brought by one 
John Smith in the Court of Requests during 1619 for a sum 
of £46 5 s. 8d. in respect of * tinsell stuffes and other stuffe * 
delivered on Beeston’s order to Worth, Perkins, Cumber, 
and others at the Red Bull between 27 June 1612 and 
23 February 1617, since when they had 4 fallen at variance 
and strife amongst themselves and separated and devided 
themselves into other companies \ He accuses these four 
men of conspiring to keep him out of payment. Worth, 
Perkins, and Cumber asserted that the liability was Beeston’s. 
The company had 4 required divers officers and that every of 
the said actors should take vpon them some place & charge \ 
Beeston was charged with the provision of furniture and 
apparel, which needed 4 a thriueing man & one that was of 
abilitie & meanes \ He was to 4 defaulke outt of the collec- 
cions and gatheringes which were made continually when* 
soeuer any playe was acted a certen some of money as 
a comon stock *, to pay for purchases out of this, and 
to account to the company for the balance. No one else was 
privy to his transactions. The arrangement lasted for seven 
or eight years, and they believe that he 4 much enritched 
himself and rendered a false account for expenditure of 
£400. He is now conspiring with Smith and hoping for 
a chance to 4 exclayme on ’ them. If he incurred debt, he 
had certainly taken funds to meet it. From the beginning 
he had 4 a greater care for his owne privatt gaine *. Now he 
has 4 of late given over his coate & condicion & separated 
and devided himself ’ from the company, carrying away all 
the furniture and apparel. Beeston says that he has long been 
ill. On Queen Anne’s death he left the company and joined 
Prince Charles’s men. The Queen’s had ten sharers, and 
sometimes one, sometimes another, provided the clothes. 
He denies liability. Several witnesses, including William 
Freshwater, merchant tailor and 4 a workman to the said 
company ’, spoke to Beeston’s liability. 1 One John King 
says that the company allowed Beeston 4 one half of the 
profitt that came of the gallyryes *, and that they began to 
break up about three years ago. At a hearing on 16 June 
1620 Beeston got the case deferred on the ground that 
Emanuel Read, a material witness, was in Ireland until 
Michaelmas. Elizabeth, the wife of Richard Perkins, said 
that Read had been there for two or three years, was over at 
Easter, and was not expected again. Smith got in a blow 
at Beeston’s credit with an affidavit that he had said 4 it was 

1 * Goodman Freshwater * was furnishing stuffs to Worcester's men in 
1602-3 (Henslowe, i. 179, 187). 



240 


THE COMPANIES 


nothing for him to put in a false answere into the Court of 
Requestes, for that it was not punishable The result of 
the suit is unknown. 

We may perhaps reach the following conclusions as to the 
composition of the London company after the deaths in 1612 
of Pulham, presumably a recent comer since 1609, and 
Greene. Their nucleus consisted of two of the patented 
men, Christopher Beeston and Heywood, who probably 
remained with them throughout. Of the other patentees, 
Swinnerton kept to the provinces. Lee had rejoined them 
from the provinces by 1613 or 1614, and went back to the 
provinces about May 1616. Perkins was apparently not of 
their number in June 1616, but was in June 1617. Holt is 
not traceable ; perhaps he also went to the provinces. 
Pallant joined the Lady Elizabeth’s in 1614 and had passed 
to Prince Charles’s by 1616. All these five men, however, 
appear with Beeston and Heywood as Anne’s servants at 
her funeral. Here too are Slater and Edmonds, then of the 
Bristol, and apparently never of the London company ; also 
Worth, Cumber, Blaney, Drewe, and Robinson, presumably 
identical with Robins, all of whom had joined the London 
company by June 1616, Basse, formerly of the Lady Eliza- 
beth’s, who joined it between June 1616 and June 1617, 
and Gregory Sanderson and John Garret, who, if they 
belonged to the London company at all, must have joined it 
after June 1617. 1 The list does not contain the names of 
two men who belonged to the company in 1616 and 1617. 
One was Emanuel Read, who joined it from the Lady Eliza- 
beth’s in 1613 or later ; the other, Robert Reynolds, whose 
attachment to the company must have been rather loose, as 
he was travelling in Germany in July 1616 and again in 1618. 
Evidently, as the lawsuits suggest, the organization of the 
Queen’s men during its later years was rather unstable. 
Into its attempts to hold together after Anne’s death and the 
after-careers of its members, it is not necessary to go. 

In June 1617 the Queen’s were come, or shortly to come, 
from the Red Bull to the Cockpit. In fact they were at 
the Cockpit, then a new house, on 4 March 1617, when it 
was sacked by prentices in a Shrovetide riot. 2 But they may 
have returned to the Red Bull for a time, while the Cockpit 
was being repaired, as they did again after they lost it on the 
separation from Christopher Beeston, who seems to have been 
its owner, in 1619. 

1 Sanderson may be the ‘ Sands ' who played with ‘ Ellis ’ [Worth] in 
Daborne's Poor Man’s Comfort (q.v.), about 1617. Or James Sands, 
formerly a boy with the King’s men, may have come to the Queen’s. 

* Adams, 351. 



241 


THE ADULT COMPANIES 

xxii. THE DUKE OF LENNOX’S MEN 

Ludovic Stuart, s. of Esme, ist Duke of Lennox ; cousin and until 
1594 heir presumptive of James ; nat. 29 Sept. 1574 ; succ. as 2nd 
Duke, 26 May 1583; Gentleman of Bedchamber, 1603; Earl of 
Richmond, 6 Oct. 1613 ; Lord Steward, Nov. 1615 ; Duke of Rich- 
mond, 17 Aug. 1623 ; o.s.p. 16 Feb. 1624. 

The first notice of Lennox’s men is on 13 October 1604, 
when he gave an open warrant of assistance in their behalf 
addressed to mayors, justices, and other local officers, some 
of whom had apparently refused the company permission to 
play (App. D, no. cxxxvii). On 16 March 1605 Francis 
Henslowe gave his uncle Philip a bond of £60 to observe 
articles of an agreement he had entered into with John 
Garland and Abraham Savere ‘ his ffellowes, servantes to the 
most noble Prince the duke of Lennox * ; and on 1 March 
1605 Savere had given Francis Henslowe a power of attorney 
to recover £40 on a forfeited bond from John Garland of 
4 the ould forde securing delivery of a warrant made to 
Savere by Lennox ( Henslowe Papers , 62). Some other 
traces point to a connexion between Savere and Francis 
Henslowe, which was ended by the latter’s death in the middle 
of 1606 (Henslowe, ii. 277), and an undated loan of £7 by 
Philip Henslowe to his nephew 4 to goyne with owld Garlland 
and Symcockes and Saverey when they played in the duckes 
nam at ther laste goinge owt ’ (Henslowe, i. 160) makes it 
possible to add one more to the list of the company. It 
does not seem to have played in London, but is traceable at 
Canterbury in 1603-4, Barnstaple, Coventry, and Norwich 
in 1604-5, and Coventry again in 1607-8. Both Garland 
and Henslowe had been Queen Elizabeth’s men, and it is 
possible that, when these men were left stranded by her death 
in 1603, they found a new patron in Lennox. John Garland 
had joined the Duke of York’s men by 1610, and it has been 
suggested that this company may have been a continuation 
of Lennox’s, 

xxiii. THE DUKE OF YORK’S (PRINCE CHARLES’S) MEN 

The Duke of York's Men ( 1608-12 ) ; The Prince's Men 
( 1612-16 ) 

Charles, 2nd s. of James I ; nat 19 Nov. 1600 ; Duke of Albany, 
23 Dec. 1600 ; Duke of York, 16 Jan. 1605 ; Prince of Wales, 3 Nov. 
1616 ; afterwards (27 Mar. 1625) Charles I. 

[ Bibliographical Note. — The documents bearing on the relations of the 
Duke of York’s men with Alleyn are printed by W. W. Greg in Henslowe 

2229-2 R 



242 


THE COMPANIES 


Papers (1907) ; the Bill and Answers in the equity suit of Taylor v. 
Hemynges (1612) by C. W. Wallace in Globe Theatre Apparel (p.p., 1909) ] 

A company under the patronage of Prince Charles, then 
Duke of York, first makes its appearance during 1608, and 
in the provinces. A visit of * the younger princes ’ men to 
Ipswich is recorded on 20 October. During 1608—9 the com- 
pany was also at Bath, and it is at least possible that it was 
4 the Princes players of the White Chappie London ’ rewarded 
at Leicester in 1608. The Boar’s Head (q.v.) may have been 
roughly spoken of as in Whitechapel, and although there is 
no proof that the Duke of York’s men occupied it after the 
Queen’s moved to the Red Bull, there is nothing to connect 
them during the earlier years of their career with any of the 
better-known London houses. On 30 March 1610 they 
received, like other London companies, a patent, of which 
the following are the terms : 1 

lames by the grace of God &c. To all Ius- 
Traeedi^&c* wcTto' tices > Ma y ors > Sheriffes, Bay lies, Constables, 
hanne Garland & aliis. hedboroughes and other our loveing subxectes 

and officers greetinge. Knowe ye that wee of 
our especyall grace, certen knowledge, and meere mocion haue lycensed 
and authorized, and by theis presentes doe lycence and authorise 
Iohn Garland, Willyam Rowley, Thomas Hobbes, Robert Dawes, 
Ioseph Taylor, Iohn Newton, and Gilbert Reason, alreadye swome 
servauntes to our deere sonne the Duke of York and Rothesay, with 
the rest of their company, to vse and exercise the arte and quality of 
playing Comedyes, Tragedies, histories, Enterludes, Moralles, Pasto- 
ralles, Stagplayes, and such other like as they haue already studdied or 
hereafter shall studye or vse, aswell for the recreacion of our loveing 
subiectes, as for our solace and pleasure when wee shall thinke good 
to see them, and the said Enterludes or other to shewe and execise 
publiquely to their best aduantage and commoditie, aswell in and 
about our Cittye of London in such vsuall howses as themselues shall 
provide, as alsoe within anye Townehalles, Mootehalles, Guildhalles, 
Schoolehowses, or other convenient places within the lybertye and 
freedome of any other Cittye, vniversity, Towne, or Boroughe what- 
soever within our Realmes and Domynions, willing and comaundinge 
you and everie of you, as you tender our pleasure, not onlye to permitt 
and suffer them herein without any your lettes, hindraunces, moles- 
tacions or disturbances during our said pleasure, but alsoe to be 
ayding and assisting vnto them, if any wronge be vnto them offered, 
and to allowe them such former curtesies as hath byne given to men 
of their place and quality, And alsoe what further favor you shall shewe 
them for our sake wee shall take yt kyndlye at your handes. Prouided 
alwaies and our will and pleasure is that all authority, power, privi- 

1 M. S. C. i. 272, from P. R. 8 Jac. I, p. 8 ; also printed by T. E. Tomlins 
in Sh . Soc. Papers , iv. 47. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 


5243 


ledg, and proffitt whatsoever belonging and properly apperteyninge 
to the Master of our Revelles in respect of his Office and everie article 
and graunt contayned within the lettres patentes or Commission, 
which haue byne heretofore graunted or directed by the late Queene 
Elizabeth our deere sister or by our selfe to our welbeloved servantes 
Edmond Tillney Master of the said Office of the said Revelles, or to 
Sir George Bucke knight, or to eyther of them, in possession or Rever- 
cion, shall remayne and abyde entire and in full force, estate and 
vertue and in as ample sort as if this our commission had never bene 
made. Witnes our selfe att Westminster the thirtith daye March. 

per breve de priuato sigillo &c. 

The only member of the Duke of York’s men, of whose previous 
history anything is known, is John Garland. He was of 
the Duke of Lennox’s men in 1605. Perhaps the whole 
company was taken over from the Duke of Lennox. Mr. Fleay 
says that the Duke of York’s men arose ‘ immediately after 
the disappearance of the King’s Revels Children , , 1 and appears 
to suggest a continuity between the two companies ; but he 
must have overlooked the fact that the Duke of York’s were 
already performing in the provinces, while the King’s Revels 
were in all probability still at Whitefriars. 2 

Some reconstruction doubtless took place about the date 
of the issue of the patent, for the pleadings in the equity 
suit of Taylor v. Hemynges in 1612 recites an agreement of 
15 March 1610, which provided for the continuance of 
fellowship during three years and the forfeiture of the interest 
in a common stock of ‘apparrell goodes money and other 
thinges ’ of any member, who left without the consent of the 
rest. It was made between Garland on the one side and 
Taylor, Rowley, Dawes, and Hobbes on the other, and these 
four gave Garland a bond of £200 as security. On 8 May the 
five bought some 1 olde clothes or apparrell which formerly 
weare players clothes or apparrell ’ from John Heminges of 
the King’s men for £11, and gave a bond of £20 for payment. 
Apparently payment had not been made by Easter 1611, 
when Taylor * by the licence and leave of his said Master the 
Duke vpon some speciall reason . . . did give over and leave 
to play in the company Under the agreement the apparel 
passed to his fellows, and according to Taylor they paid 
Heminges the £11 or otherwise satisfied him, and then 
4 havinge conceaued some vndeserue’d displeasure ’ against 
Taylor for leaving them, conspired with Heminges to defraud 
him of £20 on the bond. According to Heminges no payment 

1 Fleay, 188. 

* Murray, i. 239, confuses the Duke’s with Lord Aubigny’s men. 

R 2 



244 


THE COMPANIES 


was made, and he sued Taylor as 4 the best able to paye and 
discharge the same \ Taylor was arrested and in February 
1612 brought his suit in equity to stay the common law 
proceedings. The result is unknown. 

The company frequently played at Court, but, as it would 
seem, only before the younger members of the royal family. 
Their first appearance was before Charles and Elizabeth on 
9 February 1610. In 1610-11 they were at Saffron Walden. 
They came before Charles and Elizabeth on 12 and 20 December 
1610 and 15 January 1611, and before Henry, Charles, and 
Elizabeth on 12 and 28 January and 13 and 24 February 
1612. On this last occasion they played William Rowley’s 
Hymen's Holiday , or Cupid's Vagaries. After Henry’s death, 
on 7 November 1612, they became entitled to the designation 
of the Prince’s players. In 1612-13 they were at Barnstaple 
and Ipswich. On 2 and 10 March 1613 they gave the two 
parts of The Knaves , perhaps by Rowley, before Charles, 
Elizabeth, and the Palsgrave. In 1613-14 they were at 
Barnstaple, Dover, Saffron Walden, and Coventry. They 
were not at Court for the winter of 1613-14. In November 

1614 they were at Oxford, Leicester, and Nottingham. At the 
Christmas of 1614-15 they gave six plays before Charles, 
and on 11 February they were at Youghal in Ireland. Ten 
days later R. A.’s The Valiant Welshman was entered and in 
the course of the year published as theirs. Their leader seems 
to have been Rowley. He both wrote plays for them and 
acted as payee for all their court rewards from 1610 to 1614. 
In 1611 they lost Taylor and in 1614 Dawes to the Lady 
Elizabeth’s men ; and these transferences seem to have led 
to a temporary amalgamation of the two companies, which 
Mr. Fleay and Dr. Greg place in 1614, but for which their 
distinct appearances at Court in the following winter suggest 

1615 as the more likely date. 1 On 29 March 1615 William 
Rowley and John Newton were called with representatives 
of other companies before the Privy Council to answer for 
playing in Lent. No separate representation of the Lady 
Elizabeth’s is indicated by the list. In 1614-15 the Prince’s 
were at Norwich, Coventry, Winchester, and Barnstaple. In the 
winter of 1615-16 they gave four plays before Prince Charles, 
and the payee was not Rowley, but Alexander Foster, formerly 

1 A letter, probably originally from Dulwich, but now Egerton MS. 
2623, f. 25 (printed in Sh. Soc. Papers , i. 18, and Henslowe Papers, 126), 
is signed by William Rowley, as well as by Taylor and Pallant, and must 
therefore be later than this amalgamation, and not, as Dr. Greg suggests, 
from the Lady Elizabeth's c. 1613. It confirms a purchase of clothes 
from Henslowe for £55. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 


245 


of the Lady Elizabeth’s. Rosseter’s patent of 3 June 1615 
for a second Blackfriars theatre contemplates its use by 
the Prince’s men and the Lady Elizabeth’s, as well as by the 
Queen’s Revels, and Field’s Amends for Ladies was actually 
played in the Blackfriars, probably in this house before it 
was suppressed, by the two first-named companies. After 
Henslowe’s death on 6 January 1616, the combination, 
whatever its nature, was probably broken up, and separate 
companies of Prince’s men and Lady Elizabeth’s men were 
again formed. But both of the original companies continued 
to be represented in one which remained at the Hope. 
This is shown by an agreement entered into with Alleyn 
and Meade on 20 March 1616, and signed in the presence 
of Robert Daborne and others by William Rowley, Robert 
Pallant, Joseph Taylor, Robert Hamlen, John Newton, 
William Barksted, Thomas Hobbes, Antony Smith, William 
Penn, and Hugh Attwell. 1 This recites that the signatories 
and others had given bonds to Henslowe and Meade for 
the repayment of sums lent them by Henslowe, for a stock 
of apparel worth £400, and for the fulfilment of certain 
Articles of Agreement ; and that at their entreaty Alleyn 
had agreed to accept £200 in discharge of their full liabilities. 
They covenant to pay the £200 by making over to Alleyn 
one-fourth of the daily takings of the whole galleries at 
the Hope or any house in which they may play, and to 
carry out the Articles with Alleyn and Meade by so 
playing. Alleyn and Meade agree to cancel the bonds 
when the £200 is paid, except any which may relate to 
private debts of any of the men to Henslowe, and also to 
make over to them any apparel which they had received 
from Henslowe, Alleyn, or Meade. The rights of Alleyn and 
Meade against any bondsmen not taking part in the new 
agreement are to remain unaffected. That the signatories 
to this document used the name of Prince Charles’s men 
seems pretty clear from the reappearance of several of their 
names in two later lists of the Prince’s men, one in Rowley 
and Middleton’s Mask of Heroes (1619), the other in the 
records of King James’s funeral on 20 May 162s. 2 This last 
contains also the name of Gilbert Reason, who is not one 
of the signatories of 1616, but was in that year travelling 
the provinces with an irregularly obtained exemplification of 

1 Text in Collier, Memoirs of Alleyn, 127 ; abstract in Henslowe 
Papers , 90. 

* N. S. S . Trans. 1877-9, 19* ; cf. Fleay, 265. Collier, i. 406, has an 
elegy by William Rowley on Hugh Attwell, servant to Prince Charles, who 
died 25 Sept. 1621. 



THE COMPANIES 


246 

the 1610 patent. 1 An undated letter from Pallant, Rowley, 
Taylor, Newton, Hamien, Attwell, and Smith to Alleyn, 
which may belong to some time in 1616 or 1617, shows that, 
in spite of the easy terms which the company seem to have 
received by the agreement, the subsequent relations were not 
altogether smooth. They write to excuse their removal from 
the Bankside, where they had stood the intemperate weather, 
until 4 more intemperate Mr. Meade thrust vs over, taking 
the day from vs w° h by course was ours \ They ask Alleyn 
to find them a house and in the meantime to lend them £40, 
on the security that 4 we haue to receiue from the court 
(w^ after Shrouetide wee meane to pursue w th best speede) 
a great summe of monie ’, amounting to more than twice the 
loan desired. 2 It is to be presumed that the 4 course * to 
which they refer was some distribution of days between 
playing and bear-baiting. In 1619 the company was joined 
by Christopher Beeston, formerly of the Queen’s, and his 
house of the Cockpit became available for their use. 


xxiv. THE LADY ELIZABETH'S MEN 


Elizabeth, e. d. of James I ; nat. c. 19 Aug. 1596 ; m. Frederick V, 
Elector Palatine (Palsgrave), 14 Feb. 1613 ; Queen of Bohemia, 
7 Nov. 1619 ; known as Queen of Hearts ; ob. 13 Feb. 1662. 


[ Bibliographical Note . — Nearly all the material is to be found among 
the extracts from the Dulwich MSS. printed by W. W. Greg in Henslowe 
Papers (1907) and summarized in Henslowe, ii. 137.] 


This company seems to have come into existence in 1611 
under the following patent of 27 March : 3 

De licencia soeciaii Ia mes by the grace of god &c. To all Iustices, 
pro Iohanne Townsend Maiors, Sheriff es, Bailiffes, Constables, hed- 
& Iosepho Moore & aliis. borroughes, and other our lovinge Subiectes 
and officers greetinge. Knowe ye that wee 
of our especiall grace, certayne knowledge, and meere mocon have 
licenced and authorised, and by these presente do licence and autho- 
rize Iohn Townsend and Joseph Moore, swome servantes to our deere 
daughter the ladie Elizabeth, with the rest of theire Companie, to vse 
and exercise the Arte and qualitie of playinge Comedies, histories, 
Enterludes, Morralls, pastoralls, stage playes, and such other like as 
they haue alreadie studied or hereafter shall studie or vse, aswell for 
the recreacion of our lovinge Subiectes, as for our solace and pleasure 
when wee shall thinke good to see them, And the said enterludes or 
other to shewe and exercise publiquelie to their best commoditie in 
and about our Cittie of London in such vsuall howses as themselues 


App. D, No. clviii. 2 Henslowe Papers , 

M . S. C. i. 274, from P. R. 9 Jac. I, p. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 


247 


shall prouide, And alsoe within anie Towne halles, mootehalles, Guyld- 
halles, Schoolehowses or other convenient places within the libertye 
and freedome of anie other Cittie, vniuersitie, Towne or Burroughe 
whatsoeuer within our Realmes and Domynions, willinge and comaund- 
inge you and everie of you, as you tender our pleasure, not onelie to 
permitt and suffer them herein without any your lettes, hinderances, 
molestations or disturbances during our said pleasure, but alsoe to be 
ayding and assistinge vnto them, if anie wronge be vnto them offred, 
And to allowe them such former curtesies as hath byne given to men 
of their place and qualitie, And alsoe what further fauour you shall 
shewe them for our sake wee shall take yt kindelie at your handes. 
Prouided alwayes and our will and pleasure is that all authorise, 
power, priveledge, and profitt whatsoever belonginge or proper lie 
apperteyning to the maister of the Revelles in respecte of his office 
and euerie Article and graunte conteyned within the letters Pattentes 
or Comission, which haue byne heretofore graunted or directed by 
the late queene Elizabeth our deere sister or by our selfe to our wel- 
beloued Servantes Edwarde Tylney Maister of the saide Revells, or 
to Sir George Bucke knighte, or to eyther 01 them, in possession or 
reuercon, shall remayne and abide entire and in full force, effecte and 
vertue, and in as ample sorte as if this our Comission had neuer byne 
made In witnesse wherof &c. Witnesse our selfe at Westminster 
the seaven and Twentith daye of Aprill. 

per breve de priuato sigillo &c. 

The company is first traceable in the country, at Bath during 
1610-11 and at Ipswich on 28 May 1611. The names of 
Moore and Townsend render possible its identification with 
an unnamed company, which on 29 August 1611 gave 
duplicate bonds of £500 to Henslowe for the observance of 
certain articles of agreement of the same date. Unfor- 
tunately the articles themselves are not preserved, but it is 
likely that they contained an arrangement for the housing 
and financing of the company by Henslowe. 1 The signatories 
to both bonds include John Townsend, Joseph Taylor, 
William Ecclestone, Thomas Hunt, John Rice, Robert Hamlen, 
Joseph Moore, William Carpenter, Thomas Basse, and 
Alexander Foster. To these one adds Giles Gary and William 
Barksted and the other Francis Waymus. The names recited 
in the bodies of the documents agree with the signatures, 
except that Gary appears in both. Several of these men 
now come into London theatrical history for the first time, 
but Gary is probably the Giles Cary who with Barksted played 
in Epicoene for the Queen’s Revels in 1609, Taylor came from 
the Duke of York’s, and Rice from the King’s. One Hunt, 
whose Christian name is unknown, was with the Admiral’s 


1 Henslowe Papers, 18 , 111 . 



THE COMPANIES 


248 

in 1601. Alexander Foster received payment on behalf 
of the Lady Elizabeth’s men for three plays given at Court 
during the Christmas of 1611-12. The first was on 19 January 
1612 before Elizabeth and Henry ; the second was The Proud 
Maid's Tragedy , on 25 February before James ; and the 
third was on 11 March, again before Elizabeth and Henry. 
In 1611-12 the company were at Dover and Coventry, and 
on 30 July 1612 at Leicester. On 20 October they played 
before Elizabeth and the Palsgrave, shortly after the latter’s 
arrival in England, in the Cockpit. This was perhaps the 
play paid for out of the private funds of Elizabeth, as the 
result of a wager with. Mr. Edward Sackville. 1 During 
Christmas they played twice before Charles, Elizabeth, and the 
Palsgrave, showing Marston’s The Dutch Courtesan on 25 Feb- 
ruary and Raymond Duke of Lyons on 1 March. For 1612-13 
Joseph Taylor was payee. 

The names of Taylor and Ecclestone are found in another 
document in the Dulwich collection, which pretty clearly 
belongs to the Lady Elizabeth’s men, and which shows that 
about the spring of 1613 their business relations with Henslowe 
entered upon a somewhat troubled phase. This is shown by 
internal evidence to have been written in the course of 1615. 
It is here reproduced : 2 

Articles of [ Juaunce against 
M[ ] Hinchlowe 

Imprimis in March 1612 vppon M r . Hynchlowes Joyninge Companes 
with M r . Rosseter the Companie borrowed 80 11 of one M r . Griffin and the 
same was put into M r . Hinchlowes debt which made itt sixteene score 
poundes ; whoe [a]fter the receipt of the same or most parte thereof 
in March 1613 hee broke the saide Comp[any a]gaine and Ceazed all 
the stocke, vnder Culler to satisfie what remayned due to [him] ; yet 
perswaded M r . Griff yne afterwardes to arest the Companie for his 
8 o u , whoe are still in daunger for the same ; Soe nowe there was in 

equitie due to the Companie 80 11 : 

Item M r . Hinchlowe having lent one Taylor 30 11 and 20 11 to one Baxter 
fellowes of the Companie Cunninglie put theire said privat debts into 
the generall accompt by which meanes hee is in Conscience to allowe 

them 50 11 : 

Item havinge the stock of Apparell in his handes to secure his debt he 
sould tenn poundes worth of ould apparrell out of the same without 
accomptinge or abatinge for the same ; heare growes due to the 
Companie io 11 : 

1 Cf. App. B. 

8 Henslowe Papers , 86, from Dulwich MS. i. 106 ; also printed in 
Variorum, xxi. 416, and Collier, Alleyn Papers, 78. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 


*49 


Also vppon the departure of one Eglestone a ffellowe of the Companie 
hee recovered of him 14 11 towardes his debt which is in Conscience 
likewise to bee allowed to the Companie . 14 11 : 

In March 1613 hee makes vpp a Companie and buies apparrell of one 
Rosseter to the value of 63 11 , and valued the ould stocke that remayned 
in his handes at 63 11 , likewise they vppon his word acceptinge the same 
at that rate, which being prized by M r . Dabome iustlie, betweene his 
partner Meade and him, Came but to 40 11 : soe heare grow es due to 

the Companie 23 11 : 

Item hee agrees with the said Companie that they should enter bond 
to plaie with him for three yeares att such house and houses as hee 
shall appointe and to allowe him halfe galleries for the said house 
and houses, and the other halfe galleries towardes his debt of 126 11 , 
and other such moneys as hee should laie out for playe apparrell 
duringe the space of the said 3 yeares, agreeinge with them in Con- 
sideracion theareof to seale each of them a bond of 200 11 to find them 
a Convenient house and houses, and to laie out such moneies as fower 
of the sharers should think fitt for theire vse in apparrell, which att 
the 3 yeares, being paid for, to be deliuered to the sharers ; whoe 
accordinglie entered the said bondes ; but M r . Henchlowe and M r . 
Mead deferred the same, an[d] in Conclusion vtterly denied to seale 
att all. 

Item M r . Ilinchlowe havinge promised in Consideracion of the Com- 
panies lying still one daie in forteene for his baytinge to give them 50 s , 
hee havinge denied to bee bound as aforesaid gave them onlie 40 s , and 
for that M r . Feild would not Consent therevnto hee gave him soe 
much as his share out of 50 11 would have Come vnto ; by which meanes 

hee is dulie indebted to the Companie x 11 : 

In June followinge the said agreement, hee brought in M r . Pallant and 
short[l]ie after M r . Dawes into the said Companie, promisinge one 12 s 
a weeke out of his part of the galleries, and the other 6 s a weeke out 
of his parte of the galleries ; and because M r . Feild was thought not 
to bee drawne therevnto, hee promissed him six shillinges weekelie 
alsoe ; which in one moneth after vnwilling to beare soe greate a 
Charge, he Called the Companie together, and told them that this 
24 s was to bee Charged vppon them, threatninge those which would 
not Consent therevnto to breake the Companie and make vpp a newe 
without the[m]. Wheare vppon knowinge hee was not bound, the three- 
quarters sharers advauncinge them selves to whole shares Consented 
therevnto, by which meanes they are out of purse 30 11 , and his parte 
of the galleries bettred twise as much 30 11 : 

Item havinge 9 gatherers more then his due itt Comes to this yeare 
from the Companie io 11 : 

Item the Companie paid for [Arra]s and other properties 40 11 , which 
M r . Henchlow deteyneth 40 11 : 

In Februarie last 1614 perceav[ing]e the Companie drewe out of his 
debt and Called vppon him for his accompts hee brooke the Companie 



250 


THE COMPANIES 


againe, by withdrawinge the hired men from them, and selles theire 
stocke (in his hands) for 400 11 , givinge vnder his owne hand that hee 

had receaved towardes his debt 300 11 : 

Which with the iuste and Conscionable allowances before named 
made to the Companie, which Comes to . 267 11 , makes . . 567 11 : 

Articles of oppression against 
M r . Hinchlowe. 

Hee Chargeth the stocke with . . . 600 11 : and odd, towardes 

which hee hath receaved as aforesaid . . . 567 11 of vs ; yet 

selles the stocke to strangers for fower hundred poundes, and makes 
vs no satisfacion. 

Hee hath taken all boundes of our hired men in his owne name, whose 
wages though wee have truly paid yet att his pleasure hee hath taken 
them a waye, and turned them over to others to the breaking of our 
Companie. 

For lendinge of vj 11 to p[ay] them theire wages, hee made vs enter 
bond to give him the profitt of a warraunt of tenn poundes due to vs 
att Court. 

Alsoe hee hath taken right gould and silver lace of divers garmentes 
to his owne vse without accompt to vs or abatement. 

Vppon everie breach of the Companie hee takes newe bondes for his 
stocke and our securitie for playinge with him ; Soe that hee hath in 
his handes bondes of ours to the value of 5000 11 and his stocke to ; 
which hee denies to deliuer and threatens to oppresse us with. 

Alsoe havinge apointed a man to the seeinge of his accomptes in byinge 
of Clothes (hee beinge to have vi 8 a weeke) hee takes the meanes away 
and tumes the man out. 

The reason of his often breakinge with vs hee gave in these wordes 
* Should these fellowes Come out of my debt, I should have noe rule 
with thflh \ 

Alsoe wee have paid him for plaie bookes 200 11 or thereaboutes and 
yet hee denies to give vs the Coppies of any one of them. 

Also within 3 yeares hee hath broken and dissmembred five Companies. 

It is not quite possible to trace all the five breakings of com- 
panies referred to in the closing sentence ; but the statement 
is sufficient to give a fairly clear outline of the history of 
the Lady Elizabeth’s men during the years which it covers, 
and, as it happens, there is a good deal of other evidence 
from which to supplement it. It appears that in March 1613 
Henslowe joined companies with Rosseter; that is to say, 
that an amalgamation took place between the Lady Eliza- 
beth’s men and the Children of the Queen’s Revels, who had 
been acting at the Whitefriars under the patent to Rosseter 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 251 

and others of 4 January 1610. One of these children was 
Robert Baxter, if he is the Baxter named in the Articles 
of Grievance as a fellow of the company with Taylor between 
March 1613 and March 1614. 1 During the same period it 
appears that William Ecclestone left the company* He 
afterwards joined the King’s men. But, before he went, he 
took a part in The Honest Man's Fortune , which is stated in 
the Dyce MS. to have been played in 1613, while its ‘ principal 
actors ’ are named in the 1679 folio of Beaumont and Fletcher 
as 4 Nathan Field, Robert Benfield, Emanuel Read, Joseph 
Taylor, Will. Eglestone and Thomas Basse *. This particular 
combination seems to point clearly to the Lady Elizabeth’s 
men as the original producers of the play. A very similar 
cast is assigned in the same folio to The Coxcomb, namely, 

4 Nathan Field, Joseph Taylor, Giles Gary, Emanuel Read, 
Richard Allen, Hugh Atawell, Robert Benfeild, and William 
Barcksted ’ ; and I think that this also must belong to a per- 
formance by the Lady Elizabeth’s men about 1613. The 
Coxcomb had certainly been played at Court by the Queen’s 
Revels in 1612, but it seems impossible that Taylor can then 
have been a member of that company. 2 The new blood 
brought in from Rosseter’s company will, then, have included 
Field, Attwell, Richard Allen, Benfield, Reade, and perhaps 
Robert Baxter, of whom the first three had played in Jonson’s 
Epicoene for the Revels in 1609. When it is remembered that 
Cary and Barksted had been in the same cast, it will be 
realized that the Lady Elizabeth’s men, as constituted in 
1613, were very much the Queen’s Revels over again. 

I think there can be no doubt that the Lady Elizabeth’s 
men was the company principally referred to in the long 
series of fetters from Robert Daborne to Henslowe, which 
runs from 17 April 1613 to 31 July 1614. 3 Daborne had been 

1 Greg, Henslowe Papers , 58, 87, thinks that the * Baxter * of the 
Grievances was William Barksted or Backstede. It may be so. 

* Thorndike, 66, thinks that the list belongs to an earlier production 
by the Queen’s Revels before 30 March 1610, when Taylor joined the 
Duke of York's. But there is no evidence that he was ever in the Queen's 
Revels. 

3 Henslowe Papers , 65, 125 ; A. E. H. Swaen, Robert Daborne* s Plays 
(Anglia, xx. 153). The account in Fleay, i. 75, is fuU of inaccuracies. 
The documents now form separate articles of Dulwich MS. 1. All, unless 
otherwise specified below, are letters or undertakings from Daborne to 
Henslowe. Most of them are dated, and I think that the following ordering, 
due to Dr. Greg, is reasonable : (i) Art. 70, 17 Apr. 1613 ; (ii) Art. 71, 

17 Apr. 1613; (iii) Art. 72, 25 Apr. 1613; (iv) Art. 73, 3 May 1613; 
(v) Art. 74, 8 May 1613 ; (vi) Art. 75, 16 May 1613 ; (vii) Art. 77, 
19 May 1613 ; (viii) Art. 78, 5 June 1613 ; (ix) Art. 79, 10 June 1613 ; 
(xi) Art. 80, 18 June 1613 ; (xii) Art. 81, 25 June 1613 ; (xiii) ? Art. ioo. 



252 


THE COMPANIES 


one of the patentees for the Queen’s Revels in 1609, and some 
letters apparently belonging to the same series show Field 
as interested, either as writer or actor, in some of the plays 
which Henslowe was purchasing from Daborne, with a view 
to reselling them to this company. Further confirmation is 
to be obtained for this view from the signature of Hugh 
Attwell as witness to one of Henslowe’s advances to Daborne, 1 
and from the mention of Benfield, 2 of Pallant who, as will be 
seen, joined the company in 1614, 3 and of Eastward Ho! 
which their repertory had inherited from that of the Queen’s 
Revels. 4 That 4 Mr. Allin * was hearing Daborne’s plays with 
Henslowe in May 1613 need cause no difficulty. 6 It is true 
that Edward Alleyn is not known to have had any relations 
with the Lady Elizabeth’s men, but John Alleyn, a nephew 
of Edward, is amongst Henslowe’s witnesses about this time, 6 
and Richard Allen, who may not have belonged to the same 
family, was himself one of the Lady Elizabeth’s men, and 
perhaps served as their literary adviser. The correspondence 
makes it possible to recover the names of a series of plays on 
which Daborne was engaged, either alone or in collaboration 
with others, during the period over which it extends, and all 
of which seem to have been primarily meant for the Lady 
Elizabeth’s men, although he occasionally professes, as an aid 
to his chaffering, to have an alternative market with the King’s 
men. 7 From April to June 1613 he was writing a tragedy of 
Machiavel and the Devil , and this is probably the 4 new play ', 
of which he suggests the performance on Wednesday in 
August, to follow one of Eastward Ho ! on the Monday. 8 

Field to Henslowe, n.d. ; (xiv) ? Art. 69, Field to Henslowe, n.d. ; 
(xv) ? Art. 68. Field, Daborne, and Massinger to Henslowe, n.d. ; (xvi) 
Art. 82, 16 July 1613; (xvii) Art. 83, 30 July 1613; (xviii) ? Art. 76, 
n.d. ; (xix) ? Art. 99, Daborne to Edward Griffin (Henslowe’s scrivener), 
n.d. ; (xx), Art. 84, 23 Aug. 1613 ; (xxi) Art. 85, 14 Oct. 1613 ; (xxii) Art. 86, 
29 Oct. 1613 ; (xxiii) Art. 87, 5 Nov. 1613 ; (xxiv) Art. 88, 13 Nov. 1613 ; 
(xxv) Art. 89, 13 Nov. 1613 ; (xxvi), Art. 90, 27 Nov. 1613 ; (xxvii) Art. 91, 
9 Dec. 1613 ; (xxviii) Art. 92, 10 Dec. 1613 ; (xxix) Art. 93, 24 Dec. 1613 ; 

(xxx) ? Art. 95, n.d. ; (xxxi) Art. 94, 31 Dec. 1613 ; (xxxii) Art. 96, 1 1 Mar. 

1614 ; (xxxiii) Art. 97, 28 Mar. 1614 ; (xxxiv), Art. 98, 31 July 1614. 

1 Henslowe Papers, 68. 

• Sh. Soc. Papers, i. 16 ; Henslowe Papers , 125, from Egerton MS. 2623, 
I. 24. This document cannot be dated, but it has probably been detached 
from the Dulwich series. 

• Henslowe Papers, 82. 

4 Ibid. 71. I should suppose this, rather than, with Dr. Greg, Bartholomew 
Fair, to be the * Johnsons play ’ contemplated on 13 Nov. (Henslowe 
Papers, 78), but others of Jonson’s plays may also have been revived. 

• Ibid. 69, 70. • Ibid. 71, 103, in. 

T Ibid. 76, 77, 78. • Ibid. 71. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 253 

For this Henslowe covenanted to pay him £20. In June 
he was also completing The Arraignment of London , of which 
he had given an act to Cyril Tourneur to write ; and to 
this The Bellman of London , for which he and a colleague, 
perhaps again Tourneur, asked no more than £12 and ‘ the 
overplus of the second day * in August, was probably a sequel. 1 
This may be the play which he had delivered to Henslowe 
about the beginning of December. About July he seems also 
to have been occupied upon a play in collaboration with 
Field, Fletcher, and Massinger. This is not named, and 
Mr. Fleay’s identification of it with The Honest Man's Fortune 
is rather hazardous. 2 In December he began The Owl , for 
which his price fell to £10; and on 11 March 1614 he had 
finished this, and was beginning The She Saint and asking 
4 but 12 1 a play till they be playd ’. The correspondence 
has a gap between the middle of August and the middle of 
October 1613. Probably the company were on tour ; they 
are found at Coventry, Shrewsbury, and Marlborough in 
1612-13, Canterbury on 4 July 1613, Dover between 12 July 
and 7 August, and Leicester on 13 October. In the spring 
they had been at Bristol and Norwich. On 12 December 
they repeated one of their plays of the preceding winter, 
Marston’s The Dutch Courtesan , before Charles, and on 
25 January 1614 gave Eastward Ho ! which they had been 
playing in public during the summer, before James. Taylor 
was again their payee for this Christmas. 

The statement of grievances indicates another reconstruc- 
tion of the company in March 1614. In this transaction, 
which apparently involved the buying out of Rosseter’s 
interest, Meade was in partnership with Henslowe, and Field 
was presumably in some position of authority on behalf of 
the players, as it is alleged that Henslowe bribed him, in order 
to obtain his assent to the modification of a covenant under 
which he was to make an allowance for a withdrawal of the 
theatre once a fortnight for baiting. The terms recited agree 
with those of an undated and mutilated agreement between 
Henslowe and Jacob Meade on one side and Field on behalf 
of an unnamed company of players on the other. The text 
of this follows : 3 

1 Dr. Greg (Henslowe Papers, 75) makes them the same play, founded 
on Dekker’s tracts, The Bellman of London (1608) and Lanthorn and 
Candlelight , or the Bellman's Second Night-walk (1609), but The Arraign- 
ment seems to have been too nearly finished on 5 June for this identification 
(Henslowe Papers, 72). 

* StiU more so the ascription (Fleay, i. 81) of The Faithful Friends to 
Daborne and the Lady Elizabeth’s men. 

* Henslowe Papers , 23 ; also in Collier, Memoirs of Alleyn , 118. A few 



254 


THE COMPANIES 


Articles of agreement made, concluded, and agreed vppon, and which 
are On the parte dnd behalfe of Phillipp Henslowe Esquier and Jacob 
Meade Waterman to be perfourmed, touchinge & conceminge the 
Company of players which they haue lately raised, viz t 
Imprimis the saide Phillipp Henslowe and Jacob Meade doe for them, 
their executours and administratours, Covenante, promise, and graunt 
by theis presentes to and with Nathan Feilde gent., That they the 
saide Phillipp Henslowe and Jacob Meade or one of them shall and 
will duringe the space of Three yeares at all tymes (when noe restraynte 
of playinge shalbe) at their or some of their owne proper costes and 
charges fynde and provide a sufficient howse or howses for the saide 
Company to play in, And also shall and will at all tymes duringe the 
saide tearme disburse and lay out all suche somme & somes of monny, 
as flower or ffive Shareres of the saide Company chosen by the saide 
Phillipp and Jacob shall thinck fittinge, for the furnishinge of the said 
Company with playinge apparrell towardes the settinge out of their 
newe playes, And further that the saide Phillipp Henslowe and Jacob 
Meade shall and will at all tymes duringe the saide tearme, when the 
saide Company shall play in or neare the Cittie of London, furnish the 
saide Company of players, aswell with suche stock of apparrell & other 
properties as the said Phillipp Henslowe hath already bought, As also 
with suche other stock of apparrell as the saide Phillipp Henslowe 
and Jacob Meade shall hereafter provide and buy for the said Company 
duringe the saide tearme, And further shall and will at suche tyme and 
tymes duringe the saide tearme, as the saide Company of Players 
shall by meanes of any restraynte or sicknes goe into the Contrey, 
deliuer and furnish the saide Company with fitting apparrell out of 
both the saide stockes of apparrell. And further the saide Phillipp 
Henslowe and Jacob Meade doe for them, their executours and admini- 
stratours, convenante and graunt to and with the saide Nathan Feilde 
by theis presentes in manner and fourme followinge, that is to say, 
That they the saide Phillipp Henslowe and Jacob Meade or one of 
them shall and will from tyme to tyme duringe the saide tearme dis- 
burse and lay out suche somme or sommes of monny as shalbe thought 
fittinge by ffower or ffive of the Shareres of the saide Company, to be 
chosen by the saide Phillipp & Jacob or one of them, to be paide for 
any play which they shall buy or condicion or agree for ; Soe alwaies 
as the saide Company doe and shall truly repaye vnto the saide Phillipp 
and Jacob, their executores or assignes, all suche somme & sommes of 
monny, as they shall disburse for any play, vppon the second or third 
daie wheron the same play shalbe plaide by the saide Company, 
-without fraude or longer delay ; And further that the saide Phillipp 
Henslowe and Jacob Meade shall and will at all tymes, vppon request 
made by the Maior parte of the Sharers of the saide Company vender 

additional lines, much mutilated, appear to have provided for the alloca- 
tion of half the daily takings of the galleries to the discharge' of a debt 
of £124 due to Henslowe and Meade and of any further disbursements 
by them. This agrees with the Dawes articles infra, but the Articles of 
Grievance refer to a debt of £126. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 255 

their] handes, remove and putt out of the saide Company any of the 
saide Company of playeres, if the saide Phillipp Henslowe and Jacob 
Meade shall fynde [the s]aide request to be iust and that ther be noe 
hope of conformety in the partie complayned of ; And further that 
they the saide Phillipp Henslowe and Jacob Mea[de shall] and [will] 
at all tymes, vppon request made by the saide Company or the maior 
parte therof, pay vnto them all suche somes of monny as shall comme 
vnto their handes v[ppon of] any forfectures for rehearsalles 

or suche like paymentes ; And also shall and will, vppon the request 
of the said Company or the maior parte of the[m], sue [ ] ar[ ] 

persons by whom any forfecture shalbe made as aforesaid, and after 
or vppon the recovery and receipte th[ero]f (their charges disbursed 
about the recovery [ b]einge first deducted and allowed) shall 
and will make satisfaccion of the remaynder therof vnto the said 
Company without fraude or guile. 

Mr. Fleay and Dr. Greg think that at the time of this recon- 
struction the company was further strengthened by the 
incorporation of the Duke of York’s, now the Prince’s, men. 1 
This I doubt, as the Prince’s men continued to play at Court, 
as a company quite distinct from the Lady Elizabeth’s, during 
the winter of 1614-15. It is true that Robert Dawes, who had 
been one of the Duke of York’s in 1610, joined the Lady 
Elizabeth’s, but it was precisely one of the grievances that 
this man and Robert Pallant were introduced by Henslowe, 
by means of a financial adjustment unfavourable to the 
sharers, in June 1614. Pallant had passed through several 
companies, and is traceable with Queen Anne’s men in 1609. 
He was still technically a servant of the Queen at her death 
in 1619. 2 A letter from Daborne on 28 March 1614 shows that 
he was then expecting an answer to some proposal made 
to Henslowe, which the latter had neglected. 3 Articles 
between Robert Dawes and Henslowe and Meade are on 
record, and bear the date 7 April 1614. 4 The following is the 
text : 

Articles of Agreement,] made, concluded, and agreed uppon, and 
which are to be kept & performed by Robert Dawes of London, Gent, 
unto and with Phillipp Henslowe Esq re and Jacob [Meade Waterman] 
in manner and forme followinge, that is to say 

Imprimis. The said Robert Dawes for him, his executors, and 
administrators doth covenante, promise, and graunt to and with the 
said Phillipp Henslowe and Jacob Meade, their executors, admini- 
strators, and assynes, in manner and formme followinge, that is to 

1 Fleay, 187 ; Greg, Henslowe Papers , 87, Henslowe* s Diary, ii. 138. 

2 Cf. p. 240. 8 Henslowe Papers, 82. 

4 Ibid. 123, from Variorum, xxi. 413 ; also in Collier, Alleyn Papers , 75. 
The original, formerly at Dulwich, is now missing. 



256 THE COMPANIES 

saie, that he the said Robert Dawes shall and will plaie with such 
company, as the said Phillipp Henslowe and Jacob Meade shall 
appoynte, for and during the tyme and space of three yeares from the 
date hereof for and at the rate of one whole share, accordinge to the 
custome of players ; and that he the said Robert Dawes shall and will 
at all tymes during the said terme duly attend all suche rehear sail, 
which shall the night before the rehearsall be given publickly out ; 
and if that he the saide Robert Dawes shall at any tyme fade to come 
at the hower appoynted, then he shall and will pay to the said Phillipp 
Henslowe and Jacob Meade, their executors or assignes, Twelve pence ; 
and if he come not before the saide rehearsall is ended, then the said 
Robert Dawes is contented to pay Twoe shillings ; and further that 
if the said Robert Dawes shall not every daie, whereon any play is or 

ought to be played, be ready apparrelled and to begyn the play 

at the hower of three of the clock in the aftemoone, unles by sixe of 
the same company he shall be lycenced to the contrary, that then he, 
the saide Robert Dawes, shall and will pay unto the said Phillipp and 
Jacob or their assignes Three [shillings] ; and if that he, the saide 
Robert Dawes, happen to be overcome with drinck at the tyme when 
he [ought to] play, by the judgment of flower of the said company, he 
shall and will pay Tenne shillings ; and if he, [the said Robert Dawes], 
shall [faile to come] during any plaie, having noe lycence or just 
excuse of sicknes, he is contented to pay Twenty shillings ; and further 
the said Robert Dawes, for him, his executors, and administrators, 
doth covenant and graunt to and with the said Phillipp Henslowe and 
Jacob Meade, their executors, administrators, and asignes, by these 
presents, that it shall and may be lawfull unto and for the said Phillipp 
Henslowe and Jacob Meade, their executors or assignes, during the 
terme aforesaid, to receave and take back to their own proper use the 
part of him, the said Robert Dawes, of and in one moyetie or halfe 
part of all suche money es, as shal be receaved at the Galleries & tyring 
howse of such house or howses wherein he the saide Robert Dawes 
shall play, for and in consideration of the use of the same howse and 
howses ; and likewis shall and may take and receave his other moyetie 
. the moneys receaved at the galleries and tiring 
howse dues, towards the pafying] to them, the saide Phillip Henslowe 
and Jacob Meade, of the some of one hundred twenty and fower pounds, 
being the value of the stock of apparell furnished by the saide company 
by the saide Phillip Henslowe and Jacob Meade . . . the one 

part of him the saide Robert Dawes or any other somes , 

to them for any apparell hereafter 

newly to be bought by the [said Phillip Henslowe and Jacob Meade, 
until the saide Phillip Henslowe and Jacob Meade] shall therby be 
fully satisfied, contented, and pai4. And further the said Robert 
Dawes doth covenant, [promise, and graunt to and with the said 
Phillip Henslowe and Jacob Meade, that if he, the said Robert Dawes], 
shall at any time after the play is ended depart or goe out of the [howse] 
with any [of their] apparell on his body, or if the said Robert Dawes 
[shall carry away any propertie] belonging to the said company, or 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 


257 


shal be consentinge [or privy to any other of the said company going 
out of the howse with any of their apparell on his or their bodies, he, 
the said] Robert Dawes, shall and will forfeit and pay unto the said 
Phillip and Jacob, or their administrators or assignes, the some of 

ffortie pounds of lawfull [money of England] 

and the said Robert Dawes, for him, his executors, and administrators 
doth [covenant promise and graunt to with the said] Phillip Henslowe 
and Jacob Meade, their executors, and administrators [and assigns] 

that it shall and may be 
lawfull to and for the said Phillip Henslowe and Jacob Meade, their 
executors, and assignes, to have and use the playhows so appoynted 
[for the said company one day of] every fower daies, the said 

daie to be chosen by the said Phillip and [Jacob] 

Monday in any week, on which day it shalbe lawful 
for the said Phillip [and Jacob, their administrators], and assignes, to 
bait their bears and bulls ther, and to use their accustomed sport and 
[games] and take 

to their owne use all suche somes of money, as thereby shall arise and 
be receaved 

And the saide Robert Dawes, his executors, administrators, and 
assignes, [do hereby covenant, promise, and graunt to and with the 
saide Phillip and Jacob,] allowing to the saide company daye the 
some of lfortie shillings money of England ... [In testimony] for every 
such whereof, I the saide Robert Dawes haue hereunto sett my hand 
and seal this [sev]enth daie of April 1614 in the twelfth yeare [of the 
reign of our sovereign lord &c.] 

Robert Dawes. 

It must be mainly matter of conjecture at what theatres 
the Lady Elizabeth’s had played from 1611 to 1614. Possibly 
they may have begun at the Swan. Middleton’s A Chaste 
Maid in Cheapside was published as 1 often acted at the 
Swan on the Banke-side by the Lady Elizabeth her Ser- 
uants and although this publication was not until 1630, 
it is rather tempting to identify the play with The Proud Maid 
of 1611-12. Probably the association of the company with 
Henslowe led to a transfer to the Rose ; and after the joining 
of forces with Rosseter in March 1613, the Whitefriars must 
have been available for the combination. That there were 
alternatives open in 1613 is shown by two passages in 
Daborne’s letters. 1 On 5 June he says that the company were 
expecting Henslowe to conclude 4 about thear comming over 
or goinge to Oxford \ and by 4 comming over ’ may most 
naturally be understood crossing the Thames. On 9 December 
he claims that a book he is upon will 4 make as good a play 
for your publique howse as ever was playd *, and the inference 

1 Henslowe Papers , 72, 79. 

2219-2 S 



258 THE COMPANIES 

is that at the time Henslowe was interested in a ‘ private 9 
as well as in a 4 public * house. Certainly the Watermen’s 
complaint in the spring of 1614 indicates that there were then 
no plays on Bankside, and both the Swan and the Rose 
must therefore have been deserted. But by the autumn 
the Lady Elizabeth’s men were in the Clink, occupying 
the newly built Hope on the site of the old Bear-garden ; 
and that the use of this theatre was contemplated in the 
agreements of the previous spring is shown both by the 
presence of Meade, who is not known to have been interested 
in any other house, as a party, and by the reservation of one 
day in fourteen for the purpose of baiting. 1 It was at the 
Hope that William Fennor failed to appear to try his challenge 
with John Taylor on 7 October, and the Lady Elizabeth’s 
men were presumably the players — 

And such a company (Fll boldly say) 

That better (nor the like) ne’er played a play — 

who came to the rescue and saved the occasion from fiasco. 
And it was at the Hope and by the Lady Elizabeth’s men, 
as the Induction and the title-page show, that Jonson’s 
Bartholomew Fair was produced on 31 October. There is 
a reference in the text of the play to Taylor’s adventure, 2 
and a compliment to Field, which puts him on a level with 
Burbadge of the King’s men. 3 Bartholomew Fair was pre- 
sented on the very next day before James at Court. This 
performance, for which Field was payee on 11 June, was 
the only one by the company during the winter festivities of 
1614-15. In February 1615 there was a breach between 
Henslowe and the company, as a result of which the Articles 
of Grievance were drawn up. According to the Articles 
Henslowe ‘ brooke the companie ’ ; but it is not quite clear 
what exactly took place. In some form the Lady Elizabeth’s 
men certainly continued to exist. They visited Nottingham 
in March 1615, and a letter from Lord Coke to the Mayor 
of Coventry shows that they also contemplated a visit to 
that town in the same month. 4 My impression is that they 
subsequently patched up another reconstruction with Hen- 
slowe, and that on this occasion the process did entail some 

1 I agree with Dr. Greg that the * fower ’ in Dawes’s articles is probably 
a mistake for * fourteen ’. 

2 Bartholomew Fair, v. 3, ‘ I thinke, one Taylor, would goe neere to 
beat all this company, with a hand bound behinde him \ 

a Ibid. Cakes. Which is your Burbage now ? 

Lanterne. What meane you by that, Sir ? 

Cokes. Your best Actor. Your Field ? 

4 Murray, ii. 254. This, however, was probably Long’s company ; v. infra. 



THE ADULT COMPANIES 


259 


kind of amalgamation with Prince Charles’s men. Field, 
however, probably now joined the King’s men. The Lady 
Elizabeth’s do not appear to have been separately represented 
when the Privy Council called the London companies before 
them for a breach of Lent on 29 March 1615. It is true that 
they may have been alone in not offending, but it is more 
probable that William Rowley and John Newton, who were 
summoned, answered for the amalgamation. The Prince’s 
men are recorded as playing at Court during the Christmas 
of 1615-16 and the Lady Elizabeth’s men are not. Yet the 
payee for their four plays, of which the dates are not specified, 
was Alexander Foster, who had been a Lady Elizabeth’s 
man and not a Prince’s man. But it is probable that both 
this amalgamation and the earlier one between the Lady 
Elizabeth’s and the Queen’s Revels, although effective as 
a business operation from Henslowe’s point of view, did not 
amount to a complete merging of identities, such as would 
entail a surrender of one or other of the official patents. 
Certainly the Lady Elizabeth’s, the Prince’s and the Revels 
were in some sense distinct, and yet in the closest relationship 
in 1615. So much is clear from Rosseter’s patent of 3 June 
to build in the Blackfriars, which contemplated that all three 
companies would share in the use of the new house. That 
the joint user extended also to plays is suggested by the title- 
page of Field’s Amends for Ladies (1618) which declares it to 
have been 4 acted at the Blacke- Fryers, both by the Princes 
Seruants and the Lady Elizabeths *. Perhaps this indicates 
alternative rather than combined playing. Whatever the 
arrangement, it was probably altered again on or before 
Henslowe’s death on 6 January 1616. 1 A company containing 
many of the former Lady Elizabeth’s men remained at the 
Hope. But they went under Prince Charles’s patronage, and 
it is not until 1622, when we find them at Christopher 
Beeston’s house of the Cockpit or Phoenix, that we can be 
sure of the presence of Lady Elizabeth’s men in London once 
more. 2 But they had held together in the provinces. Possibly 
the nucleus of the provincial company had been formed of 
men left out by the Henslowe-Rosseter negotiations of 1613- 
14. They first appear at Norwich on 2 March 1614 under 
Nicholas Long, who in 1612 had been travelling with Queen’s 
Revels boys. They came again on 27 May 1615 with an 
exemplification of the 1611 patent dated 31 May 1613, and 
again on 5 June 1616 under John Townsend, and again 

1 Robert Pallant, one of the company, is noted (Henslowe, ii. 20) as 
visiting Henslowe on his death-bed. 

8 Variorum, iii. 59. 



26 o 


THE COMPANIES 


on 7 June 1617 under Henry Sebeck. In the same year 
Joseph Moore was acting as an agent of the Lord Chamberlain 
and Master of the Revels in clearing the provinces of irregularly 
licensed players, not improbably in the interests of the 
Lady Elizabeth’s themselves, whose original patent was now 
set free, through changes in London, for provincial use in 
place of a mere exemplification. 1 The company is also 
traceable at Leicester, Coventry, Nottingham, Marlborough, 
and elsewhere from 1614, 2 3 and on 11 July 1617 Townsend 
and Moore received a warrant for £30 in respect of three 
plays given before James during his journey to Scotland. 8 
On 20 March 1618 Townsend and Moore, with Alexander 
Foster and Francis Waymus, obtained a new licence under the 
royal signet. 4 This authorized them to play in London, and 
their actual return there may have been earlier than 1622. 

1 App. D, No. clviii. 

2 Murray, i. 263 ; ii. 4. I add Belvoir on 1 March 1614. 

3 Cunningham, xliv. 4 Murray, ii. 344. 



XIV 


INTERNATIONAL COMPANIES 

i. ITALIAN PLAYERS IN ENGLAND 

[. Bibliographical Note. — The wanderings of the Italian companies in Italy 
tself and in France are recounted in A. D’ Ancona, Origini del Teatro 
Italiano (ed. 2, 1891), and A. Baschet, Les Comidiens italiens cl la Cour 
de France (1882), but without much knowledge of the few English records. 
W. Smith, Italian and Elizabethan Comedy (M. P. v. 555) and The Corn- 
media dell* Arte ( 1912 ), deals more fully with these. The literary influence 
of Italian comedy is discussed by L. L. Schiicking, Die stojf lichen Bezieh- 
ungen der englischen Komodie zur italienischen bis Lilly (1901), and R. W. 
Bond, Early Plays from the Italian (1911).] 

The England of Elizabeth and James was a lender rather 
than a borrower of players. No records have been disinterred 
of French actors in this country between 1495 and 1629 ; 1 
and although there are a few of Italian actors, their visits 
seem to have been confined to a single brief period. 2 The 
head-quarters of Italian comedy during the middle of the 
sixteenth century was at the Court of Mantua, and when 
Lord Buckhurst went as ambassador to congratulate CharlesIX 
of France on his wedding, it was by Louis Gonzaga, Duke of 
Nevers and brother of the Duke of Mantua, that he was 
entertained on 4 March 1571 ‘ with a comedie of Italians 
that for the good mirth and handling thereof deserved singular 
comendacion \ 3 In the following year the Earl of Lincoln 
was at Paris from 8 to 22 June in order to conclude a treaty, 
and letters relate how he saw at the Louvre ‘ an Italian 
playe, and dyvers vauters and leapers of dyvers sortes verie 
excellent *, and how later, when he visited the King at the 
Chateau de Madrid, ‘ he had some pastyme showed him by 
Italian players, which I was at with hym \ 4 It may perhaps 
have been encouragement from one or both of these nobles, 
which led an Italian company not long afterwards to make its 
way across the Channel. The first notice of it is at Nottingham 

1 Lawrence, i. 128 ( Early French Players in England ). One can hardly, 
I suppose, assume that the Turkish acrobat of 1589-90 (cf. ch. xviii) was 
a real Turk. 

2 J: A. Lester, Italian Players in Scotland ( M . L. N . xxiii. 240), traces 
histriones , whom he unjustifiably assumes to be actors, and tubicines iu 
1514-61. 

3 S. P. F. (1569-71), 413. 4 Nichols, Eliz . i. 302. 



262 


the Companies 


in September 1573, when a reward was 1 gevin to the Italyans 
for serteyne pastymes that they shewed before Maister 
Meare and his brethren *.* In 1574 the Revels Accounts 
include expenditure ‘ for the Italyan players that ffollowed 
the progresse and made pastyme fyrst at Wynsor and after- 
wardes at Reading \ Elizabeth was at Windsor on 11 and 
12 July ; on 15 July she removed to Reading and remained 
there to 22 July. At Windsor the Italians used 4 iij devells 
cotes and heades & one olde mannes fries cote ’ ; at Reading, 
where they performed on 15 July, the provisions included 
staves, hooks, and lambskins for shepherds, arrows for 
nymphs, a scythe for Saturn, and 4 horstayles for the wylde 
mannes garment Professor Feuillerat appears to suggest 
that they may have been playing Tasso’s Aminta y produced 
at Ferrara on 31 July 1573. But there were other pastorals. 2 
The Italians are probably the comedians commended to 
the Lord Mayor on 22 July, and in November Thomas 
Norton calls special attention to 4 the unchaste, shamelesse 
and unnaturall tomblinge of the Italian weomen \ How 
long this company remained in England is unknown. There 
was an Italian acrobat at the Kenilworth festivities on 14 July 
I 575, but the description suggests that he was a solitary per- 
former. 3 The Treasurer of the Chamber paid 4 Alfruso Ferrabolle 
and the rest of the Italian players * for a play at Court on 
27 February 1576, to the consideration of which I shall return. 
In April 1577 there was an Italian play before the Council 
at Durham Place. 4 Finally, on 13 January 1578, the Privy 
Council addressed a letter to the Lord Mayor, requiring 
him to permit 4 one Drousiano, an Italian, a commediante 
and his companye ’, to play until the first week of the coming 
Lent. I take it that the company was also at Court, since 
the Chamber Accounts for 1577-8 include an item 4 for 
a mattres hoopes and boardes with tressells for the Italian 
Tumblers ’. The company to which the visit of 1573-4 was 
due cannot be identified with any certainty. Presumably it 
came through France, and ought to have left signs there. 
There seem to have been three Italian companies in France 
during 1571. The first, in February, was that of Giovanni 
Tabarin. The second, that seen by Lord Buckhurst in 
Paris, was the famous Compagnia de’ Gelosi, of which one 
Signora Vittoria, of Ferrara, known on the stage as Fioretta, 
was the prima donna. This, however, had returned to 
Milan by the spring of 1572 and its subsequent movements 
hardly render a visit to England in 1573 plausible. A third 

1 Murray, ii. 374. 2 Feuillerat, Eliz. 225, 227, 458. 

3 Furnivall, Robert Laneham's Letter , 18. 4 Cf. App. B. 



INTERNATIONAL COMPANIES 263 

company, that of Alberto Ganassa, a Zanni or clown from 
Bergamo, reached Paris in the autumn of 1571. 1 It was 
sent away by the Parlement on account of its high charges 
for admission, but returned in 1572 and played at the wedding 
of Henri of Navarre and Marguerite of Valois on 18 August. 
Nothing is heard of Ganassa in France after October 1572, 
but during the summer of 1574 he seems to have been in 
Madrid ; so he also is not available for the English visit. 
It may very likely have been his company which the Earl of 
Lincoln saw. But it may also have been that led by Soldino 
of Florence and Anton Maria of Venice, which was performing 
1 commedies et saults ’ before Charles IX at Blois on 25 March 
1572, and subsequently made its way to Paris. My authorities 
say nothing further about Soldino and Anton Maria, so we 
are at liberty to believe that Lincoln invited them to try 
their fortune across the sea. 2 

The ‘ Drousiano ’ of 1578 offers less difficulty. He must 
have been Drusiano, son of Francisco Martinelli, of Mantua, 
who in after years won a considerable reputation, although 
less than that of his brother Tristano Martinelli, as Arlecchino 
in the commedia delV arte . 3 There is no other notice of him 
before 1580, when he subscribes himself as 4 marito di 
M a Angelica who appears to have been one Angelica Alber- 
ghini, and the company with which he was associated in 1578 
is not known. 4 But it may very well have been the Gelosi. 
This company paid in 1577 their second visit to France, 
upon the invitation of Henri III, and remained there at least 
until July. They seem to have been in Florence fairly early 
in 1578, but some or all of them may have found time for 
an English trip in the interval. Direct proof that Drusiano 
Martinelli ever belonged to the Gelosi is lacking. But they 
are the only Italian company known to have been in France 
in the summer of 1577, and players are not likely to have 
passed from Italy to England without leaving some traces 
of their presence in France. 5 

1 Smith, 148, makes him then head of the Gelosi, but the authorities she 
cites do not bear her out. 

2 Baschet, 18, 25, 34, 43 ; D’Ancona, ii. 455, 457, 459 ; Rennert, 28, 479. 

3 R. B. M c Kerrow (Nashe, iv. 462) suggests that Tristano may have 
been ‘ that famous Francatrip Harlicken * represented in the dedication 
of An Almond for a Parr at (1590) as asking questions at Venice about 
Kempe. But Francatrippa seems to have been the stage name of Gabriello 
Panzanini da Bologna of the Gelosi (D’Ancona, ii. 469, 511). 

4 Is this ‘ the nimble, tumbling Angelica ’ of Marston’s Scourge of 
‘ Villainy (1598), xi. 101 ? If so, a later visit may be suspected. Drusiano 
Martinelli was comedian to the Duke of Mantua, to whose son Angelica 
had been mistress, in 1595 (D’Ancona, ii. 518). 

6 Baschet, 72, 82, 90, 194, 199; D’Ancona, ii. 464, 479, 504, 518, 523, 



*64 THE COMPANIES 

The professional Italian actors of the second half of the 
sixteenth century played both the popular commedia dtlV arte 
and the literary commedia erudita, or commedia sostenuta. 
The former, with its more or less improvised dialogue upon 
scenario which revolved around the amorous and ridiculous 
adventures of the zanni } the arlecchino , the dottore , and other 
standing types, was probably best adapted to the methods 
of wandering mimes in an alien land. 1 The latter was common 
to professionals and amateurs. And I suspect that the Court 
play of 27 February 1576, although it earned its reward 
from the Treasurer of the Chamber, was an amateur per- 
formance. The ‘ Alfruso Ferrabolle * of the account-book can 
hardly be other than a clerical perversion of the name of 
Alfonso Ferrabosco, the first of three generations of that 
name, father, son, and grandson, who contributed in turn to 
the gaiety of the English Court. The eldest Ferrabosco was 
certainly in this country by 1562 when he was granted an 
annuity of 100 marks. His service terminated after various 
interruptions in 1578. 2 He is doubtless the 4 Mr. Alphonse * 
who took part in the preparation of a mask in June 1572. 3 
In connexion with the same mask, a reward was paid to one 
4 Petrucio ’, while for a later mask of 11 January 1579 
4 Patruchius Ubaldinas ’ was employed to translate speeches 
into Italian and write them out fair in tables. 4 This was 
Petruccio Ubaldini, another of Elizabeth’s Italian pensioners, 
who was both a literary man and an illuminator, and made his 
residence in England from 1562 to 1586. 6 It is quite possible 
that the performance of 1576 maybe referred to in the following 
undated letter from Ubaldini to the Queen, in which he makes 
mention of Ferrabosco. 6 If so, it came off after all. 

526 ; Smith, 147. The main body of the Gelosi passed about this time 
under the leadership of Flaminio Scala, fifty of whose scenarii are printed 
in II Teatro delle Fauole rappresentatiue (1611). 

1 Cf. ch. xviii as to traces of improvised comedy in England. 

* G. E. P. Arkwright, Notes on the Ferrabosco Family (Musical Antiquary , 
iii. 22 1 ; iv. 42) ; G. Livi, The Ferrabosco Family (ibid. iv. 121). I may 
add that he was evidently the Bolognese groom of the chamber, favoured 
by the Queen as a musician, who dropped a hint for a Venetian embassy 
in 1 575 (V. P. vii. 524). He left an illegitimate son, Alfonso, in England, 
who also was a Court musician by 1603, and was succeeded in turn by 
sons, Alfonso and Henry, in 1627 (Lafontaine, 45, 63). 

3 Feuillerat, Eliz. 159, 160. 

4 Ibid. 160, 301. 

5 Cunningham, 221 ; cf. D. N. B. ; M. L. N. xxii. 2, 129, 201. 

3 Magdalene College , Cambridge , Pepys MS. ii. 663 (cf. Hist. MSS . 
Comm. Report , 190). The letter is endorsed, ‘ To Q. Elizabeth : Ubaldino 
an Italian Musitian I suppose *. 



INTERNATIONAL COMPANIES 265 

Sacra Serenissima Maiesta, 

Perch6 k i giomi passati io haveva promesso k M. Claudio Cavallerizzo, 
et k M. Alfonso Ferrabosco, d’esser contento di recitare ad una piacevol 
Comedia Italiana ; per compiacere alia Maiesta Vostra ; et non si 
trovando di poi altri, che tre 6 quattro, che fusser contend d’ accettar 
tal carico ; ho voluto che V Altezza Vostra conosca da me stesso il 
pronto animo, ch’ io ho per la mia parte di servirla, et di compiacerla 
in ogni attion6, che me sia comandata 6 da lei, 6 in suo nom6, non 
solamente com6 servitore giurato, ch’ io gli sono ; ma com6 desidero- 
sissimo di far conoscere, che la divotion?, ch’io porto alle sue Reali 
quality, supera ogn* altro rispetto ; desiderandogli io contentezza, et 
felicity non meno, che qualunqu£ altro suo servitore gli desideri : la 
cui bont& Dio ci prosperi. 

Di Vostra Sacra Serenissima Maiesta. 

Of Claudio Cavallerizzo I regret to say that I know nothing. 

A statement that Venetian actors were in England in 1608 
rests upon a misreading of a record. 1 

ii. ENGLISH PLAYERS IN SCOTLAND 

The interlude players of Henry VII, under John English, 
accompanied the Princess Margaret to Scotland for her 
wedding with James IV in 1503, and * did their devoir * 
before the Court at Edinburgh. 2 It is the best part of a century 
before any similar adventure is recorded. In the interval 
came the Scottish reformation, which was no friend to 
courtly pageantry. Yet in Scotland, as elsewhere, Kirk 
discipline had to make some compromise with the drama. 
In 1574 the General Assembly, while utterly forbidding, not 
for the first time, * clerk playes, comedies or tragedies maid 
of ye cannonicall Scriptures *, went on to ordain 4 an article 
to be given in to sick as sitts upon ye policie yat for uther 
playes comedies tragedies and utheris profaine playes, as are 
not maid upon authentick pairtes of ye Scriptures, may 
be considerit before they be exponit publictlie and yat they 
be not played uppon ye Sabboth dayes \ 3 It was once more 
a royal wedding that led to a histrionic courtesy between 
England and Scotland. In the autumn of 1589 James VI 
was expecting the arrival of his bride Anne of Denmark, 
a sensuous and spectacle-loving lady, who had already had 
experience of English actors at her father’s Court in 1586. 4 
And being then, two years after his mother’s execu- 
tion, actively engaged in promoting friendly relations with 

1 Cf. my letter in T.L.S . for 12 May 1921. 

a Cf. ch. xiii (Interluders) ; Mediaeval Stage , ii. 187. 

• Variorum , iii. 461 ; cf. Mediaeval Stage , ii. 202. 4 Cf. p. 272. 



266 THE COMPANIES 

Elizabeth, he sent a request through one Roger Ashton to 
Lord Scrope, the Warden of the English West Marches, * for 
to have her Majesties players for to repayer into Scotland 
to his grace \ In reply Scrope wrote from Carlisle on 
20 September to William Ashby, the English ambassador at 
Edinburgh, begging him to notify the King, that he had sent 
a servant to them, 1 2 3 4 * wheir they were in the furthest parte 
of Langkeshire, whervpon they made their returne heather to 
Carliell, wher they are, and have stayed for the space of ten 
dayes *. 1 After all, the Lapland witches and their winds 
delayed Anne’s crossing for some months, and James had 
himself to join her in Denmark. It is, I think, only a conjec- 
ture that the players whose 4 book ’ was submitted on 3 June 
1589 for the licence of the Kirk Session at Perth, in accordance 
with the order of 1574, were Englishmen. 2 But certainly 
4 Inglis comedianis ’ were in Scotland in 1594, probably for 
the baptism of Henry Frederick on 30 August, and received 
from James the generous gift of £333 6 s. 8d. out of 4 the 
composicioun of the escheit of ye laird of Kilcrewch and his 
complices \ 3 Probably Laurence Fletcher was at the head 
of this expedition, for on 22 March 1595 George Nicolson, 
the English agent at Edinburgh, wrote to Robert Bowes, 
treasurer of Berwick, that, 4 The King heard that Fletcher, 
the player, was hanged, and told him and Roger Aston so, 
in merry words, not believing it, saying very pleasantly 
that if it were true he would hang them also ’. 4 In any case, 
Fletcher appears to have been the leader of a company 
whose peregrinations in Scotland a few years later, much 
favoured by James, were also much embarrassed by the 
critical relations which then existed between the Sovereign 
and the Kirk. It s only a conjecture that this was the 
company which w T as refused leave to play at St. Andrews 
on 1 October 1598. 6 But of greater troubles, which took place 

1 E. J. L. Scott in Athenaeum for 21 Jan. 1882. I am sorry to say that 
Mr. Scott suggests that Shakespeare was of the company. 

2 J. Scott, An Account of Perth , in Sir J. Sinclair, Statistical Account 
of Scotland, xviii (1796), 522. 

3 J. C. Dibdin, Annals of the Edinburgh Stage (1888), 20, from Accounts 
of the Lord High Treasurer of Scotland. A True Accompt of the Baptism 
of Prince Henry Frederick , printed in 1594 (Somers Tracts, ii. 171), records 
plays amongst other festivities, but does not say that English actors 
took part. 

4 Scottish Papers, ii. 676. I suppose that this document is the authority 
on which P. F. Tytler, Hist, of Scotland, ix. 302, describing the events 

of 1599, says of Fletcher, ‘ He had been there before, in 1594 ; and on 
his return to England, had suffered some persecution from his popularity 
with James '. 

6 D. H. Fleming, St. Andrews Kirk Session Register , ii. 870, ‘ Ane 



INTERNATIONAL COMPANIES 267 

at Edinburgh a year later, we are very well informed. They 
are detailed from the Kirk point of view in the more or less 
contemporary chronicle of David Calderwood. 1 

The King Chargeth the Kirk of Edinburgh to Rescind an Act . 

ST Some English comedians came to this countrie in the moneth of 
October. After they had acted sindrie comedeis in presence of the 
King, they purchassed at last a warrant or precept to the bailliffes of 
Edinburgh, to gett them an hous within the toun. Upon Moonday, the 
12 th of November, they gave warning by trumpets and drummes 
through the streets of Edinburgh, to all that pleased, to come to the 
Blacke Friers , Wynd to see the acting of their comedeis. The ministers 
of Edinburgh, fearing the profanitie that was to ensue, speciallie the 
profanatioun of the Sabbath day, convocated the foure sessiouns of 
the Kirk. An act was made by commoun consent, that none resort 
to these profane comedeis, for eshewing offence of God, and of evill 
exemple to others ; and an ordinance was made, that everie minister 
sould intimat this act in their owne severall pulpits. They had indeid 
committed manie abusses, speciallie upon the Sabboth, at night before. 
The King taketh the act in evill part, as made purposelie to crosse his 
warrant, and caused summoun the ministers and foure sessiouns, 
super inquirendis y before the Secreit Counsell, They sent doun some 
in commissioun to the King, and desired the mater might be tryed 
privatlie, and offered, if they had offended, to repair the offence at his 
owne sight ; and alledged they had the warrant of the synod presentlie 
sitting in the toun. The King would have the mater to come in 
publict. When they went doun, none was called upon but M r . Peter 
Hewat and Henrie Nisbit. After that they were heard, the sentence 
was givin out against all the rest unheard, and charge givin to the 
ministers and foure sessiouns to conveene, within three houres after, 
to rescind their former ordinance, and to the ministers, to intimat the 
contrarie of that which they intimated before. They craved to be 
heard. Loath was the King, yitt the counsell moved him to heare them. 
M r . Johne Hall was appointed to be their mouth. * We are summouned, 
Sir/ said M r . Johne, ' and crave to understand to what end.’ ' It is 
true ’, said the King, * yee are summouned, and I have decerned 
alreadie.’ M r , Johne made no reply. M r . Robert Bruce said, * If it 
might stand with your good pleasure, we would know wherefore this 
hard sentence is past against us.’ * For contraveening of my warrant/ 
said the King. 1 We have fulfilled your warrant/ said M r . Robert, ‘ for 
your warrant craved no more but an hous to them, which they have 
gottin.’ * To what end, I pray you, sought I an hous/ said the King, 
‘ but onlie that the people might resort to their comedeis ? * * Your 
warrant beareth not that end/ said M r . Robert, 1 and we have good 

Jnglishman haveing desyrit libertie of the session to mak ane publik play 
in this citie, it was voted and concludit that he suld nocht be permitted 
to do the samin 

1 Calderwood, Historie of the Kirk of Scotland (Wodrow Soc.), v. 765. 



268 


THE COMPANIES 


reasoun to stay them from their playes, even by your owne acts of 
parliament/ The King answered, 4 Yee are not the interpreters of 
my lawes/ 4 And farther, the warrant was intimated but to one or 
two/ said M r . Robert, and, therefore, desired the King to retreate the 
sentence. The King would alter nothing. 4 At the least, then/ said 
M r . Robert, 4 lett the paine strike upon us, and exeeme our people/ 
The King bade him make away. So, in departing, M r . Robert turned, 
and said, 4 Sir, please you, nixt the regard we ow to God, we had a 
reverent respect to your Maiestie’s royall person, and person of your 
queene ; for we heard that the comedians, in their playes, checked 
your royall person with secreit and indirect taunts and checkes ; and 
there is not a man of honour in England would give such fellowes so 
much as their countenance ’. So they departed. 

They were charged, at two houres, by sound of trumpet, the day 
following, at the publict Croce, about ten houres, to conveene them- 
selves, and rescind the acts, or ellis to passe to the home immediatly 
after. The foure sessiouns conveene in the East Kirk. They asked 
the ministers’ advice. The ministers willed them to advise with some 
advocats, seing the mater tuiched their estate so neere. M r . William 
Oliphant and M r . Johne Schairp, advocats, came to the foure sessiouns. 
The charge was read. The advocats gave their counsell to rescind 
the act, by reasoun the King’s charge did not allow slanderous and 
undecent comedeis ; and farther, shewed unto them, that the sessiouns 
could doe nothing without their ministers, seing they were charged 
as weill as the sessiouns, and the mater could not passe in voting, but 
the moderator and they being present. They were called in, and after 
reasouning they came to voting. M r . Robert Bruce being first asked, 
answered 4 His Majestie is not minded to allow anie slanderous or 
offensive comedeis ; but so it is that their comedeis are slanderous 
and offensive ; therefore, the king, in effect, ratifieth our act. The 
rest of the ministers voted after the same maner. The elders, partlie 
for feare of their estats, partlie upon informatioun of the advocats, 
voted to the rescinding of the act. It was voted nixt, whether the 
ministers sould intimat the rescinding of the act ? The most part 
voted they sould. The ministers assured them they would not. 
Henrie Nisbit, Archibald Johnstoun, Alexander Lindsey, and some 
others, tooke upon them to purchasse an exemptioun to the ministers. 
They returned with this answere, that his Majestie was content 
the mater sould be passed over lightlie, but he would have some 
mentioun made of the annulling of the act. They refuse. Their 
commissioners went the second tyme to the king, and returned with 
this answere , 4 Lett them nather speeke good nor evill in that mater, 
but leave it as dead/ The ministers conveened apart to consult. 
M r . Robert Bruce said it behoved them ather to justifie the thing they 
had done, or ellis they could not goe to a pulpit. Some others said 
the like. Others said, Leave it to God, to doe as God would direct 
their hearts. So they dissolved. M r . Robert, and others that were of 
his minde, justified it the day following, in some small measure, and 
yitt were not querrelled. 



INTERNATIONAL COMPANIES 269 

Several other documents confirm this narrative. The Privy 
Council register contains an order of 8 November for an 
officer at arms to call upon the sessions by proclamation to 
rescind their resolution and a further proclamation of 
10 November reciting the submission made by the sessions. 1 
The Lord High Treasurer’s accounts contain payments to 
Walter Forsyth, the officer employed, as well as gifts to ‘ ye 
Inglis comedianis ’ of £43 6 s. 8 d. in October, of £40 in Novem- 
ber 4 to by tymber for ye preparatioun of ane house to thair 
pastyme and of a further £333 6 s. 8 d. in December.* It is 
George Nicolson, in a letter of 12 November forwarding the 
proclamation of 8 November to Sir Robert Cecil, who identifies 
the players for us as 4 Fletcher and Mertyn with their com- 
pany \ 3 The bounty of James, although it must be borne 
in mind that the sums were reckoned in pounds Scots, 
probably left them disinclined to quit Edinburgh in a hurry. 
Another gift of £400 reached them through Roger Ashton 
in 1601 ; 4 and on 9 October in the same year they visited 
Aberdeen with a letter of recommendation from the King, 
and with the style of his majesty’s servants, and the town 
council gave them £22 and spent £3 on their supper 4 that 
nicht thaye plaid to the towne \ Nay, more, another entry 
in the burgh register tells us that the players came in the 
train of 4 Sir Francis Hospital of Haulszie, Knycht, French- 
man ’, and one of those 4 admittit burgesses ’ with the foreign 
visitor was 4 Laurence Fletcher, comediane to his Majesty *. 6 

Laurence Fletcher’s name stands first in the English 
patent of 1603 to the King’s men, and the inferences have 
been drawn that the company at Aberdeen was the Chamber- 
lain’s men, that their visit was due to a proscription from 
London on account of their participation in the Essex 
4 innovation *, that Shakespeare was with them, and that he 
picked up local colour, to the extent of 4 a blasted heath * 
for Macbeth .• To this it may be briefly replied that, as the 

1 Acts of the Privy Council of Scotland , vi. 39, 41. Calderwood seems to 
have put the whole business a week too late. 2 Dibdin, 22. 

3 Lee, 83, from S. P. D. Scotland (R. O.), lxv. 64 ; of. summary in 
Scottish Papers, ii. 777, * Performances of English players, Fletcher, Martin, 
and their company, by the King's permission ; enactment of the [Fower] 
Sessions, and preaching of the ministers against them. The bellows 
blowers say that they are sent by England to sow dissension between the 
King and the Kirk \ 4 Dibdin, 24. 

5 J. Stuart, Extracts from the Council Register of the Burgh of Aberdeen 
(Spalding Club), ii. xxi, xxii, 222. 

8 Fleay, 136 ; cf. Furness, Macbeth, 407. Fleay goes so far as to ‘ hazard 
the guess * that the * speciall letter * of recommendation from James pro- 
duced at Aberdeen was ‘ the identical letter that James wrote to Shake- 
speare with his own hand ', as recorded by Oldys. 



270 THE COMPANIES 

Chamberlain’s men were at Court as usual in the winter of 
1602, any absence from London, which their unlucky per- 
formance of Richard II may have rendered discreet, can only 
have been of short duration ; that the most plausible reading 
of the Scottish evidence is that Fletcher’s company were in 
the service of James as Court comedians from 1599 to 1601 ; 
and that there is nothing whatever to indicate that Fletcher 
ever belonged to the Chamberlain’s company at all. In 
fact, very little is known of him outside Scotland, although 
it is just possible that he may have been the object of two 
advances made by Henslowe to the Admiral’s men about 
October 1596, and described respectively as ‘ lent vnto 
Martyne to feache Fleacher * and ‘ lent the company to geue 
Fleatcher *. x If Fletcher was the King’s man in Scotland, 
it was not unnatural that he should retain that status when 
James came to England ; and it is very doubtful whether 
the insertion of his name in the patent in any way entailed 
his being taken into business relations with his * fellows ’. 
I strongly suspect that his companion at Edinburgh, Martin, 
was put into a precisely similar position amongst Queen 
Anne’s men, for who can Martin be but Martin Slater, who 
is often, as in the passage quoted above, called Martin tout 
court in Henslowe’s Diary , and who certainly left the Admiral’s 
men in 1597 ? 

iii. ENGLISH PLAYERS ON THE CONTINENT 

[ Bibliographical Note. — The earliest comprehensive study of the foreign 
travels of English actors is that of A. Cohn, Shakespeare in Germany in 
the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries (1865). Much material has been 
collected, mostly since Cohn wrote, in a number of local histories and 
special studies, of which the most important are : C. M. Pliimicke, Entwurf 
exner Theater geschichte von Berlin (1781) ; D. C. von Rommel, Geschichte von 
Hessen (1820-38) ; J. E. Schlager, Uber das alte Wiener Hoftheater in Sitzungs- 
berichte der phil.-hist. Classe der Kaiser lichen A had. der Wissenschaften , 
vi (1851), 147 ; M. Fiirstenau, Zur Geschichte der Musik und des Theaters 
am Hoje der Kurfursten von Sachsen (1861) ; E. Mentzel, Geschichte der 
Schauspielkunst in Frankfurt am Main (1882) ; O. Teuber, Geschichte des 
Prager Theaters (1883) ; J. Meissner, in Shakespeare- Jahrbuch, xix. 113 
(Austria), and Die englischen Comoedianten zur Zeit Shakespeares in O ester - 
reich (1884) ; K. Trautmann in Archiv fUr Litter atur geschichte, xii. 319 
(Munich, Augsburg) ; xiii. 34 (Suabia), 315 (Ulm) ; xiv. 113 (Nuremberg), 
225 (Suabia) ; xv. 209 (Ulm, Stuttgart, Tubingen) ; in Zeitschrift fur 
Vergleichende Litter atur geschichte, vii (Rothenburg) ; and in Jahrbuch fur 
Munchener Geschichte, iii. 259 ; J. Criiger in Archiv fiir Litter atur geschichte, 
xv. 1 13 (Strassburg) ; Duncker, Landgraf Moritz von Hessen und die 
englischen Komodianten in Deutsche Rundschau, xlviii (1886), 260 ; A. Cohn 
in Shakespeare- Jahrbuch, xxi. 245 (Cologne) ; J. Bolte in Shakespeare- 
Jahrbuch , xxiii. 99 (Denmark and Sweden), and Das Danziger Theater im 

1 Henslowe, i. 45 



INTERNATIONAL COMPANIES 271 

16. und 17, Jahrhundert (1893) ; J* Wolter in Zeitschrift des Bergischen 
Geschichtsvereins, xxxii. 90 (Cologne) ; A. Wormstall in Zeitschrift fur 
vaterl&ndische Geschichte und Altertumskunde Westfalens, lvi (1898), 75 
(Munster) ; G. Witkowski in Euphorton, xv. 441 (Leipzig). A collection 
of records from the earlier of these and from more scattered sources is 
in K. Goedeke, Grundriss dev deutschen Dichtung aus den Quellen 2 (1886), 
ii. 524, and valuable summaries are given in W. Creizenach, Schauspiele 
der englischen Komodianten (1889), and E. Herz, Englische Schauspieler 
und englisches Schauspiel zur Zeit Shakespeares in Deutschland (1903). The 
excursus of F. G. Fleay in Life and Work of Shakespeare (1886), 307, is 
misleading. Additional material, which has become available since Herz 
wrote, is recorded by C. F. Meyer in Shakespeare- Jahrbuch, xxxviii. 196 
(Wolgast), and C. Grabau in Shakespeare- Jahrbuch, xlv. 31 1 (Leipzig). 
Useful special studies are by C. Harris, The English Comedians in Germany 
before the Thirty Years * War : the Financial Side (Publ. of Modern Language 
Association, xxii. 446), A. Dessoff, Vber englische , italienische und spanische 
Dramen in den Spielverzeichnissen deutscher Wandertruppen (1901, Studien 
fur vergleichende Litter aturgeschichte, i), and on the problem of staging 
(cf. ch. xx) C. H. Kaulfuss-Diesch, Die Inszenierung des deutschen Dramas 
an der Wende des sechzehnten und siebzehnten Jahrhunderts (1905). A collec- 
tion of plaj*s and jigs, in German, but belonging to the repertory of an 
English company, appeared as Engelische Comedien und Tragedien (1620); 
some of the plays have been edited by J. Tittmann, Die Schauspiele der 
englischen Komodianten in Deutschland (1880), and the jigs by J. Bolte, 
Die Singspiele der englischen Komodianten und Hirer Nachfolger in Deutsch- 
land, Holland und Scandinavien (1893). German plays written under 
English influences are to be found in J. Tittmann, Die Schauspiele des 
Herzogs Heinrich Julius von Braunschweig (1880), and A. von Keller, Jacob 
Ayrers Dramen (1865). Cohn prints, with translations, Ayrer's Sidea and 
Phaenicia , Julio and Hyppolita and Titus Andronicus from the 1620 
volume, and early German versions of Hamlet (Der bestrafte Brudermord) 
and Romeo and Juliet from manuscripts. The literary records and remains 
of the English players are fully discussed by Creizenach and Herz, and 
their relation to Ayrer by W. Wodick, J. Ayrers Dramen in ihrem Ver - 
h&ltniss zur einhexmischen Liter atur und zum Schauspiel der englischen 
Komodianten (1912). 

The material for the Netherlands, some of which was gathered by Cohn, 
may be studied in J. A. Worp, Geschiedenis van het Drama en van het 
Tooneel in Nederland (1904-8), who also deals with the Dutch versions 
of English dramas. The contemporary stage conditions in France are 
best treated by E. Rigal, Le TH&tre fran^ais avant la ptriode classique 
H901), and those in Spain by H. A. Rennert, The Spanish Stage in the 
Time of Lope de Vega (1909), who uses the results of recent researches 
by C. P£rez Pastor, which have added much to the information furnished 
by C. Pellicer, Tratado histdrico sobre el origen y progresos de la Comedia 
y del Histrionismo en EspaHa (1804).] 

Thomas Heywood records, about 1608, that ‘ the King of 
Denmarke, father to him that now reigneth, entertained 
into his service a company of English comedians, commended 
unto him by the honourable the Earl of Leicester ’. x This King 
of Denmark was Frederick II (1559-88), father of Christian IV 
(1588-1648), and of Queen Anne of England. English 


1 App. C, No. lvii. 



THE COMPANIES 


27 2 

4 instrumentister \ Johann Krafftt, Johann Personn, Johann 
Kirck or Kirckmann, and Thomas Bull, were at the Danish 
Court as early as 1579-80, and in 1585 certain unnamed 
English played ( lechte ) in the courtyard of the town-hall at 
Elsinore, when the press of folk was such that the wall broke 
down. These may be the same men who played and vaulted 
at Leipzig on 19 July 1585, and are the earliest English players 
yet traced in Germany. 1 But the particular comedians 
referred to by Heywood were probably another company 
who had accompanied Leicester to Holland, when he took 
the command of the English forces in 1585, and had given 
a show, half dramatic, half acrobatic, of The Forces of Hercules 
at Utrecht on 23 April 1586. Certainly Leicester had in 
his train one Will, a 4 jesting plaier *, who is now usually 
identified with William Kempe, and in August and September 
1586 the Household Accounts of the Danish Court record the 
presence of 1 Wilhelm Kempe instrumentist *, and of his 
boy Daniell Jonns. It is not clear what were the precise 
relations between Kempe and five other 1 instrumentister 
och springere *, Thomas Stiwens, Jurgenn Brienn, Thomas 
Koning, Thomas Pape, and Robert Persj, who were at Court 
from 17 June to 18 September 1586, and for whom the same 
accounts record a payment to Thomas Stiuens of six thalers 
a month apiece, at the end of that period. If he had, as is 
probable, been their fellow up to that point, he did not 
accompany them in their further peregrinations. 2 * These 
took them to the Court of Frederick’s nephew, Christian I, 
Elector of Saxony (1586-91), as a result of correspondence, 
still extant, between the sovereigns, in which the offer of 
salaries at the annual rate of 100 thalers overcame the 
reluctance of the Englishmen to face the perils of an unknown 
tongue. They started with an interpreter on 25 September, 
and shortly after their arrival at Waidenhain on 16 October 
received instructions from Christian to follow him with 
mourning clothes to Berlin, where he was then sojourning. 
Christian’s own capital was Dresden, and here they held 
a formal appointment in his service, under which they were 
bound to follow him in his travels, and to entertain him 
with performances after his banquets, and with music and 
4 Springkunst *, and were entitled, beyond their pay, to 

1 Sh.-Jahrbuch, xlv. 31 1, * 5 Thaler den englischen Spielleuten, so 

ufm Rathaus ihr Spiel mit Springen und allerlei Kurzweil getrieben \ 

1 The inevitable attempt to show that Shakespeare * must ’ have been 

of the party was made by J. Stefansson, Shakespeare at Elsinore, in Con- 
temporary Review , l*ix. 20, and disposed of by H. Logeman, Shakespeare 
te Hclsingdr in Melanges Paul Fredericy (1904) ; cf. Sh.- Jahrbuch, xli. 241. 



INTERNATIONAL COMPANIES 273 

board, livery, and travelling expenses, and a lodging allowance 
of forty thalers each. The Dresden archives give their names 
as Tomas Konigk, Tomas Stephan or Stephans, George 
Beyzandt, Tomas Papst, and Rupert Persten, Their departure 
from Court is recorded on 17 July 1587. 1 In all these notices 
music and acrobatic feats are to the fore, but that the men 
were actors there can be no doubt, for two of them, Thomas 
Pope and George Bryan, reappear amongst Strange’s men, 
and thereafter as fellows of Shakespeare in the Chamberlain’s 
company. Of Stevens, King, and Percy no more is known. 
Kempe was abroad again, in Italy and Germany, during 1601, 
and returned to England on 2 September. It is not certain 
whether he took a company with him, or went as a solitary 
morris dancer. But it is noteworthy that on the following 
26 November an English company, under one Johann Kemp, 
reached Munster, after a tour which had taken them to 
Amsterdam, Cologne, Redberg, and Steinfurt. They played 
in English, and had a clown who pattered in German between 
the acts. 2 

The man, however, who did most to acclimatize the 
English actors in Germany was Robert Browne, who paid 
several visits to the country, and spent considerable periods 
there between 1590 and 1620. With him he took relays of 
actors, some of whom split off into independent associations, 
and account for most, although not all, of the groups of 
* Englander ’ who became familiar figures at the Frankfort 
spring and autumn fairs and even in out-of-the-way corners 
of northern Europe. Of some of these groups the wanderings 
can be traced in outline, although the frequent failure of 
the archives to record individual names is responsible for 
many lacunae , which the conjectural ingenuity of literary 
historians has done its best to fill. Many of these anonymous 
performances I must pass over in silence. 

Robert Browne first appears as one of Worcester’s men, 
with Edward Alleyn, in 1583, and in 1589 these two, probably 
as Admiral's men, still held a common stock of apparel 
with John Alleyn and Richard Jones. 8 His career abroad 
begins with a visit to Leyden in October 1590. 4 This was 

1 Furstenau, 69 ; Cohn, xxiii ; Bolte, Sh - Jahrbuch, xxiii. 99. Herz, 5, 
endeavours to show traces of a visit to Danzig by this company. 

* M. Rdchell, Chronik, in J. Janssen, Gesch. des Bisthums MUnstet (1852), 
iii. 174J Cohn, cxxxiv (misdated 1599) I Sh.-Jahrbuch , xxxvi. 274. 

* Henslowe Papers , 31. Greg, Henslowe, ii. 8, disposes of the confusion 
between Robert Browne and Alleyn’s step-father, John Browne. 

4 Cohn, xxxi. There seems nothing to connect the Andreas Rdthsch 
who appeared at Leipzig in July 1591 with Browne, or even to justify 
the conjecture (Sh.- Jahrbuch, xlv. 31 1) that he was English. 

2229*2 T 



274 


THE COMPANIES 


perhaps only tentative, for in February 1592 he was preparing 
to cross the seas again, and to this end obtained for himself, 
John Bradstreet, Thomas Sackville, and Richard Jones, the 
following passport to the States-General of the Netherlands 
from the Lord Admiral : 

Messieurs, comme les presents porteurs, Robert Browne, Jehan 
Bradstriet, Thomas Saxfield, Richard Jones, ont deliberd de faire 
ung voyage en Allemagne, avec intention de passer par le pais de 
Zelande, Hollande et Frise, et allantz en leur diet voyage d’exercer 
leurs qualitez en faict de musique, agilitez et joeux de commedies, 
tragedies et histoires, pour s’entretenir et foumir k leurs despenses 
en leur diet voyage. Cestes sont partant vous requerir monstrer et 
prester toute faveur en voz pais et jurisdictions, et leur octroyer en 
ma faveur vostre ample passeport soubz le seel des Estatz, afin que 
les Bourgmestres des villes estantz soubs voz jurisdictions ne les 
empeschent en passant d’exercer leurs dictes qualitez par tout. 
Enquoy faisant, je vous demeureray k tous obliged, et me treuverez 
tr&s appareill£ k me revencher de vostre courtoisie en plus grand cas. 
De ma chambre k la court d’Angleterre ce x oie jour de Febvrier 1591. 

Vostre tres affecsionn£ k vous fayre plaisir et sarvis, 

C. Howard. 1 

Presumably the Lord Admiral gave this passport in his 
official capacity, as responsible for the high seas, and it is 
not necessary to infer that the travellers were in 1592 his 
servants. 2 

There are not many clear notices of Browne and his com- 
pany during this tour. They were at Arnhem, with a licence 
from Prince Maurice of Orange-Nassau, in 1592. 3 Thereafter 
they may have gone into residence at some Court, Wolfen- 
buttel or another. They can hardly have been the English 
‘ comoedianten und springer ’ who came to Nykoping in 
Sweden for the wedding of Duke Karl of Sweden and Princess 
Christina of Holstein on 28 August 1592 4 ; for it was only 
two days later that Browne approached the Frankfort 
magistrates for leave to play at the autumn fair, where 
they gave Gammer Gurton's Needle and some of Marlowe’s 
plays. 6 It was on this occasion that Fynes Moryson, the 
traveller, visited the fair and noted the great vogue of the 

1 L. Ph. C. van den Bergh, *s Gravenhaagsche Bijzonderheden (1857), 5 1 
from Hague Archives ; Cohn, xxviii. A letter from R. Jones to Alleyn 
{Henslowe Papers , 33), often assigned to this date, seems to me probably 
to belong to 1615 : cf. p. 287. 

2 Another Admiral’s passport is printed in Rye, 47. 

3 G. van Hasselt, Arnhemsche Oudheden , i (1803), 244, naming Robert 
Bruyn, Johan Bradsdret, Thomas Saxwiell, Richardus Jonas, and Ever- 
hart Sauss. 

4 Bolte in Sh.-Jahrbuch , xxxiii. 104. 


* MentzeJ, 23. 



INTERNATIONAL COMPANIES 


275 


English actors amongst the merchants. 1 Englishmen played 
at Cologne in October and November 1592, 2 and at Nuremberg 
in August 1593 ; 3 but in view of the Nykoping company it 
can hardly be assumed that these were Browne and his 
fellows, and indeed the leader at Nuremberg is called * Ruberto 
Gruen *, which may, but on the other hand may not, be 
a blunder for Browne’s name. The Cologne players are 
anonymous. At any rate 4 Robert Braun, Thomas Sachsweil, 
Johan Bradenstreit und consorten * were all at Frankfort in 
August 1593, 4 where they played scriptural dramas, including 
Abraham and Lot and The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrha. 
Thereafter the company seems to have broken up. Richard 
Jones certainly went home before 2 September 1594, when he 
bought a gown 4 of pechecoler in grayne ’ from Henslowe. 5 
He had doubtless already joined the Admiral’s men. 

Thomas Sackville and John Bradstreet probably went to 
Wolfenbiittel. This was the capital of Henry Julius, Duke 
of Brunswick-Wolfenblittel (1589-1613), himself the author 
of plays, mostly printed during 1593 and 1594, in which an 
English influence is perceptible. The Duke married Elisabeth, 
daughter of Frederick II of Denmark, and his wedding at 
Copenhagen in February 1590 was attended by his brother- 
in-law, afterwards James I of England. It is possible that 
his earliest play, Susanna , was written either for this occasion 
or for the repetition of his wedding ceremony at Wolfenbiittel. 
In this piece the jester, a conventional personage, bears the 
name 4 Johan Clant in the later plays 4 Johan Bouset ’ ; 
and in the Ehebrecherin (1594) Bouset says, quite irrelevantly 
to his dramatic character, 4 Ich bin ein Englisch Mann ’. Both 
names are in fact of English origin, from the words 4 clown ’ 
and 4 posset ’ respectively. Evidently the Duke must in 
some way have been in touch with the English stage at a date 
even earlier than Browne’s second German visit in 1592. 
It is not, therefore, necessary to conjecture, as has been 
conjectured, that Wolfenbiittel was the first objective of 
this visit. 6 Unfortunately the Brunswick household accounts 
for 1590-1601 are missing, and with them all direct evidence 
of the first formation of his English company by the Duke 
has probably gone. The company existed by 1596, when 

1 Cf. vol. i, p. 343. 2 Sh.-Jahrbuch , xxi. 247. 

3 Archiv, xiv. 116. 4 Mentzel, 25. 5 Henslowe, i. 29. 

6 Cohn, xxxiii, xxxviii ; Goedeke, ii. 519; Herz, 8. A conventional 

clown, variously called * Jahn Clam \ 4 Jahn Posset ’, 4 Jahn der Engcl- 
l&ndische Narr ’, &c., also appears in plays, from 1596 onwards, by Jacob 

Ayrer of Nuremberg, vho has other debts, including the 4 jig ’, to the 

English players (Cohn, Ixi ; Goedeke, ii. 545). 



THE COMPANIES 


276 

the 4 furstelige comoedianten och springers ’ of the Duke 
paid a month’s visit to Copenhagen for the coronation of 
his brother-in-law, Christian IV of Denmark, on 29 August. 1 
In the following year we find 4 Jan Bosett und seine Gesellen ’ 
at Nuremberg, 4 Thomas Sackfeil und Consorten * at Augsburg 
in June, 4 Johann Busset * and Jakob Behel at Strassburg 
in July and August, and 4 Thomas Sackville, John Bouset 
genannt *, Johann Breitenstrasse and Jacob Biel at the 
Frankfort autumn fair. 2 The identity of this company with 
the Wolfenbiittel court comedians may perhaps be inferred 
from Sackville’s use of John Bouset as a stage name, and from 
a reference, in this same year 1597, to 4 Thomas Sackefiel, 
princely servant at Wolfenbiittel \ Another member of 
the company may have been Edward Wakefiel, with whom 
Sackville, also in 1597, had a brawl in a Brunswick tavern. 3 
No more is heard of them until 1601, when John Bouset 
was expected to join his old friend Robert Browne for the 
Frankfort Easter fair. 4 The Brunswick household accounts 
are extant for 1602 and 1608, and from 1614 onwards. 
Thomas Sackville appears frequently. On 30 August 1602 he 
took a payment for the English comedians. Later references 
to him from 1 October 1602 to 1617 are mainly in connexion 
with purchases for the ducal wardrobe. It seems clear that, 
while remaining a ducal servant, and possibly even an 
actor, he went into business and prospered therein. 6 He 
is said to have been selling silk at Frankfort in 1604, and 
in 1608 Thomas Coryat, the Odcombian traveller and oddity, 
records : 

* The wealth that I sawe here was incredible. The goodliest shew 
of ware that I sawe in all Franckford, saving that of the Goldsmithes, 
was made by an Englishman one Thomas Sackfield a Dorsetshire man, 
once a servant of my father, who went out of England but in a meane 
estate, but after he had spent a few yeares at the Duke of Bruns- 
wicks Court, hee so inriched himselfe of late that his glittering shewe 

1 Sh.-J ahrbuch, xxiii. 103. 

* Archiv, xii. 320; xiii. 316; xiv. 118; xv. 1 1 5 ; Mentzel, 26, 37. 
Herz, 34, points out that about this date the Duke of Brunswick’s Ehe- 
brecherin and Vincentius Ladislaus were played in Frankfort, probably by 
these men. They are referred to at length by Marx Mangoldt, Markschiffs - 
Nachen (1597), in a passage beginning : 

Da war nun weiter mein Intent, 

Zu sehen das Englische Spiel, 

Dauon ich hab gehbrt so viel. 

Wie der Narr drinnen, Jan genennt, 

Mit Bossen wer so excellent. 

Herz, 34, also assigns to the company anonymous appearances at Ulm, 
Munich, and Tubingen in 1597 ( Archiv , xii. 319 ; ^riii. 316 ; xv. 212). 

* Cohn, xxxiv. * Cf. p. 279. * Cohn, xxxiv. 



INTERNATIONAL COMPANIES 277 

of ware in Franckford dit farre excell all the Dutchmen, French, 
Italians, or whomsoever else/ 1 

John Bradstreet’s name appears in 1604 with that of Sackville 
in the album of Johannes Cellarius of Nuremberg. He died 
in 1618 and Sackville in 1628, leaving a library of theology and 
English literature. Edward Wakefield reappears in the 
Brunswick accounts for 1602, not specifically as a player. 
But certainly the playing company continued to exist. 
The accounts mention it in 1608, and Thomas Heywood 
notes its existence about the same date. There were English 
players at Wolfenbiittel in May 1615 and at Brunswick in 
1611 and 1617, but no names are recorded, and it can hardly 
be assumed that these w^re the original ducal company. 
Henry Julius himself died in 1613. 2 

Robert Browne’s own movements are uncertain after the 
break-up of his company in 1593. He is not traceable for 
a year or so either in Germany or in England, where his wife 
and all her children and household died of plague in Shore- 
ditch about August 1593. 3 But sooner or later he found his 
way to Cassel. This was another of the literary courts of 
Germany, the capital of Maurice the Learned, Landgrave of 
Hesse-Cassel (1592-1627). Maurice himself wrote an 1 Anglia 
Comoedia 1 and other plays in Terentian Latin, which were 
performed by the pupils of the Collegium Mauritianum } but 
are unfortunately not preserved. He also composed music 
and, like the Duke of Brunswick, gave a welcome to John 
Dowland on one of his several foreign tours. 4 Possibly 
Dowland was one of the two lutenists who are recorded to 
have spent fifteen weeks at Cassel in 1594. 6 In the following 
year there were performances by players and acrobats at 
Maurice’s castle of Wilhelmsburg at Schmalkalden, and- in 
the same year Maurice wrote to his agent at Prague to give 
assistance to his comedians in the event of their visiting that 
city. 6 To 1594 or 1595 may, therefore, be plausibly ascribed 
undated warrants by which Robert Browne and Philip 
Kiningsmann receive appointments from the Landgrave, 
undertaking to do him service with their company in vocal 

1 Her z, 37 ; T. Coryat, Crudities , ii. 291 . Cf. also Ein Discurss von dcr 
Frankfurter Messe (1615) : 

Der Narr macht lachen, doch ich weht, 

— Da ist keiner so gut wie Jahn begeht — 

Vor dieser Zeitt wol hat gethan, 

Jetzt ist er ein reicher Handelsmann. 

a Cohn, xxxiv ; Sh.-J ahrbuch, x 1 . 342. * Henslowe Papers, 37. 

4 Cohn, xviii, lvii ; Goedeke, ii. 522 ; Duncker, Landgrave Moritz von 
Hessen und die Englischen Komodianten in Deutsche Rundschau , xlviii. 260. 

• Sh.-Jahrbuch, xiv. 361. • Cohn, lviii ; Herz, 13. 



278 THE COMPANIES 

and instrumental music and in plays to be supplied either by 
Maurice or by themselves, and not to leave Cassel without 
his permission. 1 Certainly Browne was the Landgrave’s 
man by 16 April 1595, when a warrant was issued allowing 
the export of a consignment of bows and arrows which 
he had been sent over to bring from England to Cassel. 2 
The 4 fiirstlich hessische Diener und Comoetianten * were 
at Nuremberg on 5 July 1596, and a company under 
Philip Konigsman were at Strassburg in the following 
August. 3 Festivities were now in preparation at Cassel for 
the christening of Maurice’s daughter, one of whose god- 
mothers was Queen Elizabeth, on 24 August 1596. Brown 
and one John Webster were on duty at Cassel during the 
visit of the Earl of Lincoln, who fame from England to stand 
proxy for Elizabeth. 4 Payments to the English comedians 
and performances by them at Melsungen, Weissenstein, and 
Rothenburg, in the Landgrave’s territory, are recorded in 
the Cassel archives during 1597 and 1598. A proposed loan 
of them in 1597 to Landgrave Louis of Marburg seems to 
have fallen through, but in 1598 they left Cassel for the Court 
of the Palsgrave Frederic IV at Heidelberg, with a liberal 
Abfertigung or vail of 300 thalers and a travelling allowance of 
20 thalers, which was entrusted to George Webster. 5 From 
Heidelberg they went to Frankfort towards the end of 1599, 
but were refused leave to play, owing to the prevalence of 
plague. 6 Robert Browne, Robert Kingman, and Robert 
Ledbetter were then of the company. Ledbetter must have 
recently joined them, as he is in the cast of Frederick and 
Basilea as played by the Admiral’s men in 1597. Frankfort 
having failed them, they fell back upon Strassburg, and here 
they seem to have remained until the spring of 1601. 7 Browne 
was their leader at their arrival, but he then seems to have 
left them and returned to England, where he came to Court 
as manager of the Earl of Derby’s men during the winters of 

1 Konnecke in Z. f. vergleichende Litter at urgeschichte, N. F. i. 85. 

* Hatfield MSS. v. 174. Browne was also the agent for a similar trans- 
action licensed on 11 July 1597 (S. P. D. Eliz. cclxiv). 

3 Archiv, xiv. 1 1 7 ; xv. 114. 

4 Rommel, vi. 390, from Cassel archives, ‘ Robert Brown und John 
Wobster begleiteten ihn \ The payment therefore on behalf of the 
Admiral’s men about Oct. 1596 ‘to feache Browne ' (Henslowe, i. 45) is 
not very likely to refer to Robert. 

8 Cohn, lviii ; Duncker, 265. 

• Mentzel, 41. 

7 Archiv , xv. 1 15. Herz, 17, assigns to them, conjecturally, performances 
by * Englishmen ’ at Memmingen, Cologne, Munich, Ulm, and Stuttgart 
during 1600. But the wording of the Strassburg documents suggests 
a continuous stay. 



INTERNATIONAL COMPANIES 279 

1599-1600 and 1600-1. 1 By Easter 1601, however, he had 
started on his fourth tour, and appeared once more at 
Frankfort, possibly in Kyd’s Spanish Tragedy . With him 
were Robert Kingmann and Robert Ledbetter, and they 
were expecting to be joined by 4 Johannen Buscheten und 
noch andere in unsere Companie gehorige Comodianten \ 
The old association of 1592 between Robert Browne and 
Thomas Sackville was, therefore, still in some sense alive. 2 

Meanwhile, Maurice of Hesse had not been wholly without 
English actors, since Browne and his fellows left Cassel in 
1598. It would seem that George Webster returned from 
Heidelberg, or perhaps from Strassburg, to his service. The 
4 flirstlich-hessischen Komodianten und Musikanten * were 
at Frankfort in March, at r Nuremberg in April 1600, and 
at Frankfort again at Easter 1601. The names recorded are 
those of George Webster, John Hill or Hull, Richard Machin, 
and at Nuremberg Bernhardt Sandt. 3 Upon his second visit 
to Frankfort Webster would have met his old leader, now 
become his rival, Robert Browne. The Hessian company 
were for a third time at Frankfort in the autumn of 1601. 4 
In the following year they left the Landgrave’s service, not 
altogether to the regret of some of his subjects, who resented 
a patronage of foreign arts at the cost of their pockets. 5 
Webster and Machin, with whom was then one Ralph Reeve, 
were still using their former master’s name when they visited 
Frankfort at Easter 1603. 6 Thereafter they dropped it. 
Of Webster no more is heard. Machin is conjectured to have 
joined for a short time an English company in the service 
of Margrave Christian William, a younger son of the Elector 
Joachim Frederick of Brandenburg, which came to Frankfort 
for the Easter and autumn fairs of 1604. 7 The Margrave 
was administrator of the diocese of Magdeburg, and kept his 

1 On 21 Oct. 1603 Joan Alleyn wrote to Edward Aileyn (Henslowe 
Papers , 59), 1 All the companyes be come hoame & well for ought we 
knowe, but that Browne of the Boares head is dead & dyed very pore, 
he went not into the country e at all Obviously this is not Robert 
Browne, who lived many years longer. But it may have been a relative, 
as Lord Derby’s men are very likely to have preceded Worcester’s at the 
Boar’s Head. There was at least one other actor of the name, Edward 
Browne, and possibly more (cf. ch. xv). 

* Mentzel, 46. 

* Mentzel, 45, 48 ; Archiv , xiv. 119. A performance at Dresden in 
Oct. 1600, assigned to them by Herz, 38, is anonymous. 

4 Mentzel, 48. 

* Duncker, 267, from chronicle of Wilhelm Buch, * Anno 1602 hat er 

die Englander alle mit einander von sich gejagt und des springens und 
tanzens mtide gewordeh ’. 

4 Mentzel, 50. 7 Mentzel, 51 ; Bolte, Das Danziger Theater , 34. 



THE COMPANIES 


a8o 

Court at Halle. His company is traceable from 1604 to 1605, 
but I do not find any evidence of Machin’s connexion with 
it In May 1605 he appeared at Strassburg, and there 
claimed as his credentials only his four years’ service with 
Maurice of Hesse. 1 Shortly before, he had been at the 
Frankfort Easter fair with Reeve, and the two returned to 
Frankfort in the autumn, and again at Easter 1606. 2 * 

Robert Browne, for some years after the opening of his 
fourth tour at Frankfort in the spring of 1601, does not appear 
to have attached himself to any particular Court. He is 
found at Frankfort, with Robert Jones, in September 1602, 
at Augsburg in the following November and December, at 
Nuremberg in February 1603, and at Frankfort for the Easter 
fair of the same year. 8 With him were then, but it would seem 
only temporarily, Thomas Blackwood and John Thare, late 
of Worcester’s men, who had doubtless just come out from 
England, when Elizabeth’s illness and death closed the 
London theatres. 4 * He is probably the 4 alte Komodiant 
whose identity seems to have been thought sufficiently 
described by that term at Frankfort in the autumn of 1604. 6 
He returned to Frankfort on 26 May 1606, and was at Strass- 
burg in the following June and July. 6 Here he was accom- 
panied by John Green. On this or some other visit to 
Strassburg, the company probably lost Robert Kingman, 
who, like Thomas Sackville, found business more profitable 
than strolling. He became a freeman of Strassburg in 1618, 
and in that year was able to befriend his old 4 fellow ’ Browne, 
and in 1626 other actors on their visits to the city. 7 In the 
course of 1606 Browne seems to have entered the service of 
Maurice of Hesse, who in the previous year had built a 
permanent theatre, the Ottonium , at Cassel, and had now 
again an English company for the first time since 1602. This 
is to be inferred from an application for leave to play sub- 
mitted to the Frankfort town council on 26 August 1606, 
and signed by 4 Robert Braun ’, 4 Johann Grlin and 4 Robert 
Ledbetter * as 4 Fiirstlich Hessische ComSdianten \ Earlier 

1 Archiv , xv. 117. * Mentxel, 52. 

• Mentzel, 50; Archiv , xiv. 122. 

* The Frankfort archives call them * Thomas Blackreude * and ‘ Johannes 

Fheer ’, which has prevented their identity with Worcester’s men from 

being noticed. 1 Mentzel, 51. 

• Mentzel, 53 ; Archiv , xv. 1 17. Herz, 18, assigns to Browne anonymous 
appearances by Englishmen at Strassburg in June 1601, Ulm in Nov. 1602, 

Ndrdlingen in May 1605, and Ulm in May and June 1605. At Ndrdlingen 
a play from the prophet Jonah, possibly Greene and Lodge’s Looking 
Glass for London and England , was given. 

* Archiv , xv* 120. Coryat, ii. 183, saw him at Strassburg in 1608. 



INTERNATIONAL COMPANIES 281 


in August the same men had been at Ulm. 1 They visited 
Nuremberg with a letter of recommendation from their 
lord in November, and then settled down at Cassel for the 
winter. 2 But their service did not last long. On 1 March 
1607 a household officer wrote to the Landgrave that the 
English found their salaries inadequate, and after performing 
the comedy of The King of England and Scotland had declared, 
either in jest or earnest, that it was their last play in Cassel. 3 
Probably they were in earnest. Browne and Green went to 
Frankfort, for the last time as the Hessian comedians, on 
17 March. 4 Browne’s name now disappears from German 
records for a decade. In 1610 he was a member of the 
Queen’s Revels syndicate in London, and on 11 April 1612 
he wrote a letter to Edward Alleyn from Clerkenwell. 6 But 
whether Browne left them or not, the company held together 
for a while longer. Green was at Danzig and Elbing in the 
course of 1607. 6 Thereafter it seems probable that he tried 
a bold flight, and penetrated to the heart of Catholic Germany 
in Austria. In November 1607 an English company was with 
the archducal court of Ferdinand and Maria Anna at Graz 
in Styria. A performance by them of The King of England 
and the Goldsmith's Wife is recorded. 7 They followed Ferdinand 
to Passau, where they gave The Prodigal Son and The Jew , 
and possibly also to the Reichstag held in January 1608 at 
Regensburg. By 6 February they were back at Graz, and 
a letter from Ferdinand’s sister, the Archduchess Maria 
Magdalena, then just betrothed to the Grand Duke Cosimo II 
of Florence, gives a lively account of their performances and 
of the assistance which they rendered in the revels danced 
at Court. 8 Their repertory included The Prodigal Son , 
A Proud Woman of Antwerp , Dr. Faustus , A Duke of Florence 
and a Nobleman's Daughter , Nobody and Somebody , Fortunatus } 
The Jew , King Louis and King Frederick of Hungary , A King 
of Cyprus and a Duke of Venice , Dives and Lazarus . 9 It is 
not absolutely certain that the company referred to in these 
notices was Green’s. No name is in fact mentioned. But 
the probability suggested by the resemblance of the above 

1 Mentzel, 53; Meissner in Sh.-Jahrbuch, xix. 125 ; Archiv , xiii. 320; 
Duncker, 268. The Ottonium was named after Maurice’s son Otto, the 
friend of Prince Henry Frederick, who paid a visit to England in 1611 
(Rye, 141). * Archiv, xiv. 124. 

* Cohn, lviii ; R. P. Wiilcker in Sh.-Jahrbuch , xiv. 360. 

* Mentzel, 53. 1 Henslowe Papers, 63. 

4 Bolte, 35. ’ This might be Heywood’s King Edward IV. 

4 F. von Hurter, Gesch. Kaiser Ferdinands II, v. 395. 

* The Proud Woman of Antwerp might be the lost piece by Day and 
Haughton, 



282 THE COMPANIES 

play-list to those of 1620 and 1626, with which Green was 
certainly connected, is confirmed by the existence of a German 
manuscript of Nobody and Somebody with a dedication by 
Green to Ferdinand’s brother the Archduke Maximilian, who 
was certainly present at the Graz performances, and by 
a letter which tells us that a company visiting Austria in 
1617 was the same as that which had played at Graz in the 
lifetime of the Archduchess Maria, who died in 1608. Un- 
fortunately the identification of this company of 1617 with 
Green’s is itself a matter of high probability, rather than of 
absolute certainty. 1 The end of the visit to Graz was marked 
by a duel in which one of the English actors, 4 the man with 
long red hair, who always played a little fiddle *, killed 
a Frenchman. 2 Green now, like Browne, drops for some 
years out of the German records. 

The Court functions at Cassel surrendered by Browne in 
1607 were resumed by his predecessors, in whose leadership 
Reeve had now succeeded Machin ; and the appearance of 
the Hessian company is recorded at Frankfort during both 
the fairs of 1608 and 1609, the Easter fair of 1610, the autumn 
fair of 1612, and the Easter fair of 1613. A proposed appear- 
ance for the coronation of the Emperor Mathias in June 1612 
was prohibited, because the mourning for his predecessor 
Rudolph II was not yet over. 3 It is perhaps something of 
an assumption that the company was the same one throughout 
all these years. Reeve was in charge up to the autumn of 
1609 ; after that no individual name is mentioned. The 
intervals between the fairs were presumably spent in the 
main at Cassel. In the summer of 1609 the company visited 
Stuttgart and Nuremberg and possibly other places, with 
a letter of recommendation from their lord. 4 In the autumn 

1 Meissner, 74, and in Sh.-Jahrbuch, xix. 128; cf. pp. 284-6. The 
text of Nobody and Somebody is printed from a manuscript at Rein by 
F. Bischoff in Mittheilungen des hist. Veretns fur Steiermark, xlvii. 127. 
I think it is just possible that the companies of 1608 and 1617 may have 
been Spencer’s. There seem to have been Saxoni, as well as Angli, playing. 
These do not seem to have constituted a distinct company, and are perhaps 
more likely to have been with Spencer than with Green. Spencer, as well 
as Green, was in relations with the imperial court in 1617 ; cf. p. 290. 
But I think that the evidence of the Rein manuscript is fairly decisive 
in favour of Green. 

* This may have been Green himself. A drawing of a red-haired actor, 
in the traditional get-up of Nobody, is on the Rein manuscript. 

* Mentzel, 54, 55, 56, 58. 

4 Archiv t xiv. 125 ; xv. 215. Herz, 41, ascribes to them anonymous 
appearances at Ulm, N6rdlingen, and Augsburg. John Price, afterwards 
well known as a musician at Dresden and Stuttgart, is said to be recorded 
at Stuttgart in 1609 (Cohn, cxxxviii), and may have been with the Hessian 
company. 



INTERNATIONAL COMPANIES 283 

of the same year John Sigismund, Elector of Brandenburg 
(1608-19), who often entertained a company of his own, 
but appears to have been temporarily without one, wrote 
to Maurice to borrow them for the wedding of his brother 
at Berlin. 1 In April 1610 they may not improbably, though 
there is no evidence of the fact, have followed Maurice to 
the Diet at Prague. 2 In 1611 they are said to have been at 
Darmstadt. 3 They certainly played at the wedding of the 
Margrave Joachim Ernest, uncle of the Elector of Branden- 
burg, at Anspach in October 1612, and later in the same 
month paid a visit to Nuremberg. 4 * No more is heard of them, 
or of any other English actors in the service of Maurice of 
Hesse-Cassel, after 1613. 6 Reeve was a member of Rosseter’s 
syndicate for the building of the Porter’s Hall theatre at 
Blackfriars in 1615, and with him were associated Philip 
Kingman and Robert Jones, the last notices of whom in 
Germany are as 4 fellows ’ of Robert Browne in 1596 and 
1602 respectively. 

The appearance of Blackwood and Thare, late of Worcester’s 
men, in company with Browne at the Frankfort Easter fair 
of 1603, has already been noted. The only further record 
of either of them is of Thare at Ulm and Augsburg in the 
following December. 6 But by a series of conjectures, to which 
I hesitate to subscribe, they have been identified with a 
company which came to Stuttgart in September 1603 in the 
train of Lord Spencer and Sir William Dethick, ambassadors 
from England carrying the insignia of the Garter to Frederick 
Duke of Wiirttemberg, and there gave a play of Susanna 7 ; 
with a company which visited Nordlingen and other places 
in January 1604 under the leadership of one Eichelin, appar- 
ently a German, but with a repertory which included a Romeo 
and Juliet and a Pyramus and Thisbe 8 ; with a company 

1 Cohn, lix ; Duncker, 272. 

• Meissner, 46 ; Duncker, 272. Herz, 41, ascribes to them anonymous 
appearances at the wedding of the Margrave John George, brother of the 
Elector of Brandenburg, and the Princess Christina of Saxony at Jagern- 
dorf in July, and at Nuremberg and Ulm in November. 

a Cohn, lix, without reference. Herz, 41, adds an anonymous per- 
formance of The Merchant of Venice at the Court of Margrave Christian of 
Brandenburg at Halle. 

4 Archiv, xiv. 126. 6 Duncker, 273. 

• Archiv, xiii. 319. If this is the company which, according to Alvens- 
leben, Allgemetne T heater chronik (1832), No. 158, played Darnel , The Chaste 

Susanna . and The Two Judges tn Israel at Ulm in 1602, the identification 
with the company found at Nordlingen and Rothenburg is assisted. 

7 Cohn, lxxvii, from Erhard Cellius, Eques Auratus Anglo-Wirtembergicus 
(1605) ; cf. Rye, cvii. 

• Archiv, xi. 625 ; xni. 70. They also played Daniel m the Lions* Den, 



*84 THE COMPANIES 

which held letters of recommendation from the Duke of 
Wiirtemberg at Nuremberg in February 1604 ; 1 and with 
a company which took a repertory closely resembling the 
Ndrdlingen one to Rothenburg is 1604 and i6o6. a This is 
all very ingenious guesswork. 8 

All trace of John Green is lost for several years after 1608. 
An isolated notice at Utrecht in November 1613 suggests 
that he may have spent part of this interval in the Nether- 
lands. 4 A year or two later he returned to Germany. He was 
at Danzig in July 1615 and again, with Robert Reinolds, 
late of Queen Anne’s men, in July 1616, having paid an inter- 
mediate visit to Copenhagen. 6 In 1617 he was at Prague for 
the coronation of the Archduke Ferdinand as King of Bohemia, 
and in July of the same year at Vienna.® The comparative 
infrequency with which English actors visited Austrian 
territory perhaps justifies the assumption that his is the 
company mentioned in a letter of recommendation sent by 
Ferdinand’s brother, the Archduke Charles, at Neiss to the 
Bishop of Olmiitz on 18 March 1617, as having played at 
Graz before his mother the Archduchess Maria, who died in 
1608, and having recently spent some months at the Court 
of Poland in Warsaw. 7 In 1618 Green’s old leader, the inde- 
fatigable veteran Robert Browne, came out with a new com- 
pany on his fifth and last visit to the Continent. He is first 
noted at Nuremberg on 28 May. 8 My impression is that 
the two men joined forces. Green’s name does not appear in 
the records for a couple of years. But Reinolds, who had been 
with him at Danzig in 1616, was with Browne at Strassburg 

Susanna (? by Henry Julius of Brunswick or another version), The Prodigal 
Son , A Disobedient Merchant’s Son (1 The London Prodigal), Charles Duke 
of Burgundy , Annabella a Duke’s Daughter of Ferrara (? Marston's Parasu 
taster), Botzarius an Ancient Roman, and Vincentius Ladislaus (? by Henry 
Julius of Brunswick). Three of these plays (Romeo and Juliet, The Prodigal 
Son, and Annabella) are in the repertories of John Green ; cf. p. 285. 

1 Archiv, xiv. 122. 

* Zeitschrift fiir vergleichende Litter aturgeschichte, N. F. vii. 61. They 
played. in 1604 Daniel in the Lions’ Den, Melone of Dalmatia, Lewis King 
of Spain, Celinde and Sedea, Pyramus and Thisbe , Annabella a Duke’s 
Daughter of Montf err at ; and in 1606 Charles Duke of Burgundy, Susanna, 
The Prodigal Son, A Disobedient Merchant’s Son, An Ancient Roman, 
Vincentius Ladislaus. The Ndrdlingen and Rothenburg companies must be 
the same. Celinde and Sedea, however, is found in a repertory, not of Green, 
but of Spencer ; cf. p. 289. 

* Herz, 42, 65. 4 A. van Sorgen, De Tooneelspeelkunst in Utrecht 

6 Bolte, 41, 47. Herz, 27, conjectures that these may have been the 
English players at Wolfenbiittel in May 1615 ; cf. p. 277. 

* Schlager, 168 ; Meissner in Sh.-Jahrbuch , xix. 139. 

7 Cohn, xciii ; cf. p. 282 as to the inference that Green was at Gr&z 

in 1607-8. • Archiv, xiv. 129. 



INTERNATIONAL COMPANIES 285 

in June and July 1618. 1 Later in the year Browne was at 
the autumn fair at Frankfort. 2 There is no definite mention 
of him during the next twelve months, but it is not improbable 
that the combined company was that which visited Rostock 
in May and Danzig in July 1619. 3 At any rate Browne 
appeared at Cologne in October ; 4 and then went for the 
winter to Prague, where the Elector Palatine and the Lady 
Elizabeth of England, now King and Queen of Bohemia, had 
set up their Court. 5 They were but a winter King and Queen. 
In 1620 the Thirty Years’ War broke out, and Germany 
had other things to think of than English mumming. Browne 
was at Nuremberg in February and at Frankfort for the 
Easter fair. 6 That is the last we hear of him. But Green 
reached Cologne and Utrecht later in April, and was probably 
discreetly taking the company home. 7 In 1626 he came out 
again with Robert Reinolds, who made a reputation as 
a clown under the name of Pickleherring. 8 The details of 
this later tour lie beyond the scope of the present inquiry. 
Pickleherring is the clown-name also in a volume of Engelische 
Comedien und Tragedien, printed in 1620, which probably 
represents an attempt of Browne and Green to turn to profit 
with the printers their repertory of 1618-20, now rendered 
useless by their return to England. 9 The plays contained in 
this volume, in addition to two farces and five jigs, in most 
of which Pickleherring appears, are Esther and Hainan, 
The Prodigal Son , Fortunatus , A King's Son of England and 
a King's Daughter of Scotland , Nobody and Somebody , Sidonia 
and Theagenes , Julio and Hyppolita , and Titus Andronicus . 10 
The first five of these reappear in a list of plays forming the 
repertory of Green at Dresden during the visit of 1626 referred 
to above. If the titles can be trusted, two of the plays in this 
list had already been played by Browne at Frankfort and 
Cassel in 1601 and 1607, three by an unknown company, 
possibly that of Blackwood and Thare, at Nordlingen and 

1 Archiv, xv. 120. 8 Mentzel, 60. 3 Bolte, 51. 

4 Herz, 22, from Wolter, 97. 6 Mentzel, 61 ; Meissner, 65. 

6 Archiv, xiv. 130; Mentzel, 61. 

7 Herz, 30, from Wolter, 97 ; A. van Sorgen, De Tooneelspeelkunst in 

Utrecht. 8 Herz, 30. 

9 Goedeke, ii. 543, could find no copy of Musarum Aoniarum tertia 
Erato (Hamburg, 161 1), the title-page of which claims * etlichen Englischen 
Comedien * as a source. 

10 The last two plays have some kind of relation to Shakespeare's Two 
Gentlemen of Verona and Titus Andronicus. Sidonia and Theagenes is 
a prose version of Gabriel Rollenhagen's A mantes Amentes (1609). A sup- 
plement to the 1620 collection, with six other plays and two jigs, appeared 
as Liebeskampff oder Ander Theil der Englischen Com&dien und Tragddien 
(1630), but none of these are traceable before the Thirty Years' War. 



286 THE COMPANIES 

Rothenburg in 1604 and 1606, and eight by Green himself 
at Passau and Graz in the winter of 1 607-8. 1 They number 
thirty in all, as follows : Christabella , Romeo and Juliet ? 
Amphitryo ? The Duke of Florence ? The King of Spain and 
the Portuguese Viceroy ? Julius Caesar , Cry sella* The Duke of 
Ferrara ? Nobody and Somebody ? The Kings of Denmark and 
Sweden ? Hamlet , 10 Orlando Furioso , u The Kings of England 
and Scotland , 12 Hieronymo the Spanish Marshal™ Haman and 
Esther™ The Martyr Dorothea™ Doctor Faustus , 16 The King of 
Arragon 11 Fortunatus , 18 Joseph the Jew of Venice™ The Clever 
Thief I 20 77t£ Dw&e of Venice ? 1 Bar abbas Jew of Malta, The Dukes 
of Mantua and Verona , Old Pro cuius, Lear King of England , 
The Godfather , The Prodigal Son ? 2 The Count of Angiers , The 
Rich Man?* 

The lists of 1620 and 1626 do not bear out Fleay’s assump- 
tion that the repertories they represent were wholly made up 
of plays taken out by Browne in 1592. 24 

1 Cf. pp. 279, 281, 283. The Dresden list is in Cohn, cxv. 

* Played at Nordlingen in 1604. Cohn, 309, prints a German version 
from a Vienna manuscript. 

3 Possibly Heywood’s The Silver Age. 

4 Green played at Graz in 1608 * Von ein Herzog von Florenz der sich 
in eines Edelmann's Tochter verliebt hat '. This seems too early for 
Massinger's Great Duke of Florence, but suggests the same story. 

8 Possibly 1 Jeronimo. 8 Possibly Dekker’s Patient Grissel. 

7 Played at Ndrdlingen and Rothenburg in 1604. Bolte, 177, prints 
from a Danzig manuscript a later German version based on Marston’s 
Parasitaster. 

8 Played by Green at Graz in 1608, in a version extant in a Rein 
manuscript ; a later one is in the 1620 collection. Cf. p. 282. 

* Possibly Clyomon and Clamydes. 

10 Cohn, 236, prints a German version from a late copy. 

11 Possibly Robert Greene’s play. 

13 Played by Browne at Cassel in 1607 ; a text is in the 1620 collection. 

13 Probably Kyd’s Spanish Tragedy, played by Browne at Frankfort 
in 1601. 14 Printed in the 1620 collection. 

18 Probably Dekker’s Virgin Martyr . 

18 Played by Green at Graz in 1608. 

17 Possibly Robert Greene’s Alphonsus, King of Arragon or Mucedorus . 

18 Played by Green at Graz in 1608. A version, related to Dekker's 
Old Fortunatus , is in the 1620 collection. 

18 Played by an anonymous company at Halle in 1611 ; cf. p. 283. 
The Jew , played by Green at Passau and Graz in 1607-8, might be either 
this play or The Jew of Malta. Dekker wrote a Jew of Venice, now lost ; 
but a German version, printed by Meissner, 131, from a Vienna manu- 
script, is in part based on The Merchant of Venice. 

20 Could this be The Winter's Tale ? 

21 Green played The King of Cyprus and Duke of Venice at Graz in 1608. 

22 Played at Nfirdlingen in 1604 and Rothenburg in 1606 and by Green 
at Passau and Graz in 1607-8. A version is in the 1620 collection. 

23 Green played Dives and Lazarus at Graz in 1608. 

24 Fleay, Sh. 307. 



INTERNATIONAL COMPANIES 287 


Another member of Browne’s last expedition can perhaps 
be identified. With him in 1592 had been Richard Jones, 
who afterwards became one of the Admiral’s men in 1594 
and left that company in 1602. He was again associated 
with Browne in Rosseter’s Queen’s Revels syndicate of 1610. 
The following undated letter to Edward Alleyn is preserved 
at Dulwich : 1 

M r Allen, I commend my love and humble duty to you, geving you 
thankes for your great bounty bestoed vpon me in my sicknes, when 
I was in great want, God blese you for it, Sir, this it is, I am to go over 
beyond the seeas with M r Browne and the company, but not by his 
meanes, for he is put to half a shaer, and to stay hear, for they ar all 
against his goinge. Now good Sir, as you have ever byne my worthie 
frend, so healp me nowe. I have a sut of clothes and a cloke at pane 
for three pound, and if it shall pleas you to lend me so much to release 
them I shalbe bound to pray for you so longe as I leve, for if I go over 
and have no clothes, I shall not be esteemed of, and by godes help the 
first mony that I gett I will send it over vnto you, for hear I get 
nothinge, some tymeslhave a shillinge a day, and some tymes nothinge, 
so that I leve in great poverty hear, and so I humbly take my leave, 
prainge to god I and my wiffe for your health and mistris Allenes, 
which god continew, 

Your poor frend to command 

Richard Jones. 

[Endorsed] Receved of master Allen the of February the somme 
of [and by Alleyn ] M r Jones his letter wher on I lent hym 3 1 . 

This has generally been dated 1592. But Alleyn’s first 
recorded marriage was in October of that year, and the 
reference to Browne as not going with the company has 
always been a puzzle. I suspect that it was written in or 
near 1615, and that Jones was one of the actors who started 
in advance of Browne under John Green. That he did travel 
about this time is shown by two other letters to Alleyn about 
a lease of the Leopard’s Head in Shoreditch held by his 
wife. 2 The first, from Jones himself, is not dated, but a 
mention of Henslowe shows that it was written before the 
latter’s death on 6 January 1616, or at least before Jones had 
heard of that event. The writer and his wife were then out 
of England. The second, from Harris Jones, was written 
from Danzig on 1 April 1620. Mrs. Jones was then expecting 
to join her husband, who was with ‘ the prince *, whoever 
this may have been. If Jones had travelled with Browne’s 
men, he cut himself adrift from them on their return, for in 
1622 he entered as a musician the service of Philip Julius, 


1 Henslowe Papers , 33. 


* Ibid. 94. 



288 


THE COMPANIES 


Duke of Wolgast in Pomerania (1592-1625), who had twice 
visited England, and whose presence at more than one 
London theatre is recorded in 1602. 1 Two petitions from 
Jones are in the Stettin archives. 2 * On 30 August 1623 he asked 
permission, with his fellows Johan Kostrassen and Robert 
Dulandt (Dowland?), to return from Wolgast to England. 
Behind them they appear to have left Richard Farnaby, 
son of the better-known composer Giles Farnaby. 8 On 
10 July 1624 Jones wrote to the Duke that his hopes of profit- 
able employment under the Prince in England had been 
disappointed, and asked to be taken back into his service. 

All the groups of actors hitherto dealt with seem to have 
had their origin, more or less directly, in the untiring initiative 
of Robert Browne. There is, however, another tradition, 
almost as closely associated with the houses of Brandenburg 
and Saxony, as the former with those of Hesse-Cassel and 
Brunswick. Some give and take between Cassel and the 
Courts of some of the Brandenburg princes has from time to 
time been noted. 4 * But Berlin, where the successive Electors 
of Brandenburg, Joachim Frederick (1598-1608) and John 
Sigismund (1608-9), had their capital, was during a long 
period of years the head- quarters from which an English- 
man, John Spencer, undertook extensive travels, both in Pro- 
testant and in Catholic Germany. Of Spencer’s stage-career 
in London, if he ever had one, nothing is known. Possibly he 
betook himself to the Brandenburg Court during the English 
plague-year of 1603. At any rate, comedians holding a 
recommendation given by the Elector on 10 August 1604 
and confirmed by the Stadtholder of the Netherlands, Maurice 
Prince of Orange Nassau, in the following December, were at 
Leyden in January and The Hague in May 1605. 6 It is reason- 
able to identify them with the company under John Spencer, 
who received a recommendation from the Electress Eleonora 
of Brandenburg to the Elector Christian II of Saxony (1591- 
1611) in the same year. 6 At Dresden they possibly remained 
for some time, for although there are several anonymous 
appearances, including the famous ones at Graz in the 
winter of 1607-8, which can be conjecturally assigned to 
them, 7 they do not clearly emerge until April 1608, when 
a visit of the Electoral players of Saxony is recorded at 

1 Cf. ch. xvi, introd. * C. F. Meyer in Sh.- Jahrbuch, xxxviii. 208. 

* D. N . B. s.v. Giles Farnaby. 4 Cf. pp. 279, 283. 

* Cohn, lxxviii. • Furstenau, i. 76. 

7 Cf. p. 282. Herz, 44, identifies them with * English ' at The Hague 

(June 1606), Cologne (Feb. 1607), The Hague (April), Ulm (May), N6rd- 

lingen (June), and Munich (July). 



INTERNATIONAL COMPANIES 289 

Cologne. 1 Subsequently they waited upon Francis, Duke of 
Stettin and by him were recommended to the new Elector 
of Brandenburg, John Sigismund, who passed them on once 
more to the Elector of Saxony on 14 July 1609. 2 Being in need 
of comedians for his brother’s wedding in the same year, he 
applied, as has been noted, for a loan of those of Maurice of 
Hesse. 3 Dresden remained the head-quarters of Spencer’s 
men again during the next two years, but in 1611 they were 
back in John Sigismund’s service. Christian II of Saxony 
died in this year. In July and August they visited Danzig 
and Konigsberg, and in October and November they attended 
the Elector to Ortelsburg and Konigsberg for the ceremonies 
in connexion with the acknowledgement of him as heir to 
his father-in-law, Duke Albert Frederick of Prussia. On this 
occasion Spencer was at the head of not less than nineteen 
actors and sixteen musicians, and produced an elaborate 
Turkish 4 Triumph-comedy \ 4 In April 1613 Spencer left 
Berlin on a tour which was to take him to Dresden once more. 5 
The company were at Nuremberg in June, still using the 
name of the Elector of Brandenburg and playing Philole 
and Mariana , Celinde and Sedea , The Fall of Troy , The Fall of 
Constantinople , and The Turk* In July and August they 
were at Augsburg, and in September they returned to Nurem- 
berg, now describing themselves as the Elector of Saxony’s 
company. 7 This Elector was John George I (1611-56), the 
third of his house to entertain an English company. In 
October they played The Fall of Constantinople at the Reich- 
stag held by the Emperor Mathias at Regensburg. Spencer 
was their leader, but they no longer claimed any courtly 
status. 8 After an unsuccessful attempt to pay a third visit 
for the year to Nuremberg, they went to Rothenburg, and so 
to Heidelberg, whither the Elector Palatine Frederick V 
had just brought his English bride. Here they spent the 
winter, and left to attend the Frankfort fair of Easter 1614. 9 
In May their service with the Elector of Brandenburg, although 

1 Wolter, 93. 

1 L. Schneider, Geschichte der Oper in Berlin , Beilage, lxx. 25 ; Fiirstenau, 

i. 77. 

• Cf. p. 283. 4 Cohn, lxxxiv. 5 Ibid. Ixxxvii. 

• Archiv, xiv. 128. Philole and Mariana may be Lewis Machines The 
Dumb Knight, and The Turk Mason's play of that name, Celinde and 
Sedea had formed part of a repertory at Rothenburg in 1604 apparently 
related to those of Green ; cf. p. 284. Spencer is not recorded to have 
played any other piece found in Green’s repertories. 

7 Archiv, xii. 320; xiv. 128. 

■ Schlager, 168 ; Elze in Sh.-J ahrbuch, xiv. 362 ; Meissner, 53, and in 
Sk.-Jahrbuch, xix. 120. 

• Archiv, xiv. 129 ; Zeitschrift fur vergl. Litt. vii. 64 ; Mentzel, 58. 

2229-2 U 



2$0 


THE COMPANIES 

now none of the most recent, helped them to get a footing 
in Strassburg, where they stayed until July and again played 
The Fall of Constantinople , as well as a play of Government . 1 
In August they were at Augsburg and possibly Ulm. 2 * In 
October they projected a return visit to Strassburg, but were 
rejected, 4 so dies Jar hie lang genug super multorum opinionem 
gewessen \ 8 Possibly they fell back upon Stuttgart. 4 In 
February 1615 they were in Cologne, and here a queer thing 
happened. The whole company, with Spencer’s wife and 
children, was converted to Catholicism by the eloquence of 
a Franciscan friar. The event is recorded in the town archives 
and also in a manuscript Franciscan chronicle preserved in 
the British Museum: 5 

4 Twentie fowre stage players arrive out of Ingland at Collen : all 
Inglish except one Germanian and one Dutchman. All Protestants. 
Betwixt those and father Francis Nugent disputation was begunne and 
protracted for the space of 7 or eight dayes consecutively ; all of them 
meeting at one place together. The chiefe among them was one N. 
Spencer, a proper sufficient man. In fine, all and each of them beeing 
clearlie convinced, they yielded to the truth ; but felt themselves so 
drie and roughharted that they knew not how to pass from the bewitch- 
ing Babylonian harlot to their true mother the Catholic church, that 
always pure and virginal spouse of the lamb.’ 

It need hardly be said that in so Catholic a city as Cologne 
this singular act of grace gave the performances of the English 
comedians an extraordinary vogue. In June and July 1615 
Spencer was at Strassburg, in company with one Christopher 
Apileutter, who may have been the Germanian or the Dutch- 
man of the Cologne notice. 6 He attended the autumn fair 
at Frankfort, using an imperial patent, perhaps given him 
at Regensburg in 1613. 7 During the winter of 1615-16 he 
was again in Cologne, still profiting by his conversion. 8 This, 
however, had not made of him such a bigot, as to be unable 
to render acceptable duty in the Protestant courts where his 
earliest successes had been won. For a year his movements 
became obscure. But in August 1617 he was playing before 
the Elector of Saxony and the Emperor Matthias at Dresden. 9 
And in the following year he once more entered the Branden- 
burg service. During the interval which had elapsed since 

1 Archiv, xv. 118. 1 Ibid. xii. 320; xiii. 322. 

• Ibid. xv. 1 19. 4 Ibid. xv. 215 ; cf. Herz, 48. 

• Wolter, 96 ; Cohn in Sh.- Jahrbuch, xxi. 260 ; Cohn, xci, from Harl. 

MS. 3888, The Evangelic Fruict of the Seraphicall Franciscan Order. 

• Archiv , xv. 119. 7 Mentzel, 59. 

• Cohn in Sh.- Jahrbuch, xxi. 261 ; Wolter, 96. 

• Meissner, 59, and in Sh.- Jahrbuch, xix. 122. 



INTERNATIONAL COMPANIES 


291 


1613, John Sigismund had entertained another company. 
Early in 1614 he engaged William, Abraham, and Jacob Pedel, 
Robert Arzschar, Behrendt Holzhew, and August Pflugbeil. 1 
The names hardly sound English ; but Jacob Pedel is 
probably the Jacob Behel or Biel who was travelling with 
Sackville in 1597, William Pedel appeared as an English 
pantomimist at Leyden in November 1608, and Arzschar, 
whose correct name was doubtless Archer, is also described 
as an Englishman at Frankfort in the autumn of 1608. 2 He 
was then in company with Heinrich Greum and Rudolph 
Beart. A Burchart Bierdt appeared as 4 Englischer Musicant ’ 
at Cologne in December 1612. 3 Archer perhaps came from 
Nuremberg. He was at Frankfort again in the autumn of 1610, 
and at the Reichstag held by the Emperor Matthias at Regens- 
burg in September 1613. 4 It must have been this new com- 
pany under Archer which visited Wolfenbiittel in September 
1614 and Danzig in 1615, styling themselves the Brandenburg 
comedians. 5 The only names given at Danzig are Johann 
Friedrich Virnius and Bartholomeus Freyerbott, and in fact 
the Pedels, Holzhew, and Pflugbeil left Berlin at Easter 1615. 
Archer himself remained with the Elector until May 1616. 
The field, then, was clear at Berlin for the enterprise of 
Spencer. On 17 March 1618 John Sigismund made a payment 
4 to one Stockfisch ’ for bringing the English comedians from 
Elbing. Further payments to the English are recorded in 
the following November, and in June 1619 for plays at 
Konigsberg and Balge in Prussia, of which the Elector had 
become Duke on the death of his father-in-law Albert 
Frederick in the preceding August. 6 In July 1619 the 
Elector of Brandenburg’s comedians are heard of at Danzig. 7 
On 23 December 1619 John Sigismund himself died, and in 
1620 Hans Stockfisch addressed an appeal for certain arrears 
of salary to Count Adam von Schwartzenberg, an officer at 
the court of the new Elector George William (1619-40), in 
which he claimed to have enjoyed the Count’s protection 
for more than fifteen years. In reply George William describes 
the petitioner as 4 den Englischen Junkher Hans Stockfisch, 
wie er sich nennet ’. 8 There can be little doubt that Hans 
Stockfisch was none other than John Spencer, for the period 
of fifteen years precisely takes us back to his first appearance 
as a Brandenburg comedian in 1605. His fish name corre- 

1 Cohn, lxxxviii. * Ibid. Ixxxiii ; Mentzel, 54. 

8 Cohn in Sh.^Jahrbuch, xxi. 257 ; Wolter, 95. 

4 Archiv , xiv. 124 ; Mentzel, 54 ; Schlager, 168 ; Herz, 53. 

5 Cohn, xxxv ; Bolte, 41. 4 Cohn, xcii. 7 Bolte, 51. 

8 Cohn, xcii ; Meissner, 38, and in Sh.-Jahrbuch , xix. 122. 



292 


THE COMPANIES 


sponds to, and was perhaps motived by, that of Pickleherring 
adopted by Robert Reinolds of the chief rival English 
company about the same date. Both had their prototype 
in Sackville’s John Bouset. 1 The Elector George William 
was no friend to actors, and to Spencer, as to others, the 
Thirty Years’ War closed many doors. In February 1623 
he came to Nuremberg with Sebastian Schadleutner, but was 
not allowed to play. 2 And that is the last that is heard of him. 

A few isolated records indicate the presence from time to 
time in northern Europe of players not yet mentioned, and 
not obviously connected either with the Browne or with the 
Spencer tradition. An English company under Peter de 
Prun of Brussels visited Nuremberg in April 1594. The name 
of the leader does not sound very English, and a company, 
not improbably the same, is described as ‘ niederlandische * 
at Ulm in the following August. Hey wood, however, speaks 
of an English company as in the pay of the Cardinal and 
Archduke Albert, Governor of the Spanish Netherlands, 
about 1608. 3 Maurice of Orange-Nassau, Stadtholder of the 
Dutch Netherlands (1584-1625), who gave a recommendation 
to Spencer in 1605, had also an English company of his 
own, which visited Frankfort at Easter 1611, and then 
claimed to be strange in Germany. 4 To Augsburg in June 
1602 came Fabian Penton and his company ; 5 to Leyden 
in September 1604 John Woods and his company, 6 and to 
Leipzig in April 1613 Hans Leberwurst with his boys. 7 Of 
none of these is anything further known, nor of William 
Alexander Blank, a Scottish dancer, who performed at 
Cologne in April 1605. 8 

Traces of English players in southern Europe are few and 
far between. That Kempe’s travels of 1601 took him to 
Italy has already been noted. 9 There were some English 
acrobats at Madrid in January 1583. 10 On 25 May 1598 
the Confreres de la Passion leased their theatre in Paris, 

1 Cf. pp. 275, 285. * Archiv, xiv. 131. 

* Ibid., xiii. 316; xiv. 116'; Heywood, 60. 

8 Mentzel, 55. H. Chardon, La Troupe du Roman comique, 32, notices 
Maurice of Nassau's company at Nantes in 1618 and Paris in 1625, but 
does not say that they were English. 

1 Archiv , xiii. 317 ; xiv. 12 1. • Cohn, lxxvii. 

* Sh.-Jahrbuch, xiv. 31 1. 8 Cohn in Sh.-Jahrbuch, xxi. 253. 

* Cf. p. 273. 

18 Pellicer, i. 80, citing the records of the Madrid hospital, * en 1 1 de 
Enero de 1583 voltearon unos ingleses en el Corral de la Pacheca \ The 
original record is probably lost, as it is not with those of 1579-82, 1590, 
and 1601^-2 published from the Archivo de la Diputacion provincial de 
Madrid by C. P6rez Pastor in the Bulletin Hispanique (1906) and reprinted 
by Rennert, 345. 



INTERNATIONAL COMPANIES 293 

the H6tel de Bourgogne, to * Jehan Sehais com^dien Anglois \ 
and on 4 June obtained judgement in the court of the Chatelet, 

4 tant pour raison du susdit bail que pour le droit d’un 6 cu 
par jour, jouant lesdits Anglais ailleurs qu’audit Hotel 

I do not know whether I am justified in finding under the 
French disguise of 1 * * 4 5 Jehan Sehais * the name of one John 
Shaa or Shaw, conceivably related to Robert Shaw of the 
Admiral’s men, who witnessed an advance by Henslowe to 
Dekker on 24 November 1599. 2 In 1604 another English 
company was in France, and gave a performance on 18 Septem- 
ber in the great hall at Fontainebleau, the effect of which 
upon the imagination of the future Louis XIV, then a child 
of four, is minutely described in the singular diary of his 
tutor and physician, Jean H6roard. 3 

* Men6 en la grande salle neuve ouir une trag&lie repr£sent6e par des 
Anglois ; il les 6coute avec froideur, gravity et patience jusques k ce 
qu’il fallut couper la t&te k un des personnages.’ 

On 28 September, Louis was playing at being an actor, 
and on 29 September, says H6roard : 

4 II dit qu’il veut jouer la com6die ; 44 Monsieur/' dis-je, 44 comment 
direz-vous ? ” II repond, 44 Tiph, toph,” en grossissant sa voix. A six 
heures et demie, soup6 ; il va en sa chambre, se fait habiller pour 
masquer, et dit : 44 Allons voir maman, nous sommes des com6diens.” ’ 

Finally, on 3 October : 

4 II dit, 44 Habillons-nous en comediens,” on lui met son tablier coiff£ 
sur la t$te ; il se prend k parler, disant : 44 Tiph, toph, milord ” et 
marchant k grands pas.' 

It has been suggested on rather inadequate grounds that 
the play seen by Louis may have been 2 Henry IV. Possibly 
the princely imagination had merely been smitten by some 
comic rough and tumble. 4 But it is also conceivable that 
the theme may have been the execution of John Tiptoft, 
Earl of Worcester, at the restoration of Henry VI in 1470. 6 

1 E. SouliS, Recherches sur Molttre , 153; cf. Rigal, 46; Jusserand, 

Shakespeare in France , 51. 1 Henslowe, i. 114. 

8 Souli6 et de BarthSlemy, Journal de Jean Hiroard , i. 88, 91, 92. 

4 H. C. Coote in Interm6d%aire des Chercheurs et Curieux , ii. 105 ; cf. 

5 N. Q. ix. 42. The idea was that 4 Tiph, toph 4 represented a reminiscence 
of 2 Henry IV, 11. i. 205, 4 This is the right fencing grace, my lord ; tap 
for tap, and so part fair \ The phrase 4 tiff toff * occurs in brackets in 
a speech of Crapula while he beats Mendacio in Lingua (Dodsley, 4 ix. 434). 
Collier explains it as hiccups ; Fleay, ii. 261, on the authority of P. A. 
Daniel, as an Italian term for the thwack of stage blows. 

* E. Fournier, Chansons de Gaultier Garguille, lix, and VEspagne et ses 
Comediens en France au xvii e St&cle (Revue des Provinces , iv. 496), cites 



m 


THE COMPANIES 


It would be rash to assume that these records of 1598 and 
1604 represent all the visits of English actors to France 
during the Elizabethan period ; and it is not improbable 
that a search in the municipal archives of Picardy and 
Normandy, as thorough as that which has been carried out 
for Germany, might yield notable results. Some general 
evidence that tours in France did take place can be cited. 
John Green, dedicating his version of Nobody and Somebody 
to the Archduke Maximilian about 1608, says that he had 
been in that country. 1 His, indeed, so far as dates go, might 
have been the company of 1604. And France, no less than 
Germany, is referred to as scoured by the English comedians 
about 1613. 2 

H. Ternaux in Revue Frangoise et fitrangire, i. 78, for statements that the 
head of the English at Fontainebleau was Ganassa, who in Spain had 
had a mixed company of English, Italians, and Spanish, and on 11 Jan. 
1583 had a share in the receipts of a troupe of English volteadores. I have 
not been able to see the work of M. Ternaux, who does not inspire con- 
fidence by calling Ganassa Juan instead of Alberto. There seems to be 
nothing to connect Ganassa with the voltf adores of 1583, except the fact 
that the Corral de la Pacheca where they played was leased to him for nine 
or ten years in 1574 (Rennert, 29), and they may therefore have paid 
him rent. His troupe in 1581-2, as given by Rennert, 479, consisted 
entirely of Italians, with two Spanish musicians. He is said to have been 
in Spain in 1603 (Pellicer, i. 57, 72 ; Rennert, 30), but there is nothing 
to show that, if so, he went on to France. But HSroard tells us that 
there was a Spanish rope-dancer at Fontainebleau in 1604, and a very 
obscure passage in his diary suggests that this Spaniard was really an 
Irishman. Irish marauders (voleurs) were then giving trouble in Paris, 
which led Louis to say * Ce voleur qui voloit sur la corde 6toit Irlandois ? ' 
and H6roard comments, 1 11 6toit vrai ; il accommoda le mot de voleur 
k l’autre signification, il l’avoit vu voler k Fontainebleau ' (Journal, 
i. 90, 126). 

1 F. Bischoff in Mittheilungen des hist . Vereins fitr Steiermark, xlvii. 127 ; 
cf. p. 282. 

* De Bry, India Orientalis (1613), xii. 137, * Angli ludiones per Ger- 
maniam et Galliam vagantur \ 



XV 


ACTORS 

[ Bibliographical Note. — I include a few managers who were not neces- 
sarily themselves actors. The earlier studies of stage biography were 
mainly concerned with the Chamberlain’s and King’s men in the list of 
‘ The Names of the Principall Actors in all these Playes prefixed to the 
Shakespearian Fj of 1623. The statements about them in [J. Roberts] 
Answer to Mr. Pope's Preface to Shakespeare (1729) are conjectural and 
not, as sometimes supposed, traditional. A good deal was collected from 
wills and registers by E. Malone ( Variorum , iii. 182), G. Chalmers (ibid, 
iii. 464), and J. P. Collier, Memoirs of the Principal Actors in the Plays 
of Shakespeare (1846, Sh. Soc. revised edition in H. E. D. P. iii. 255), and 
is summarized by K. Elze, William Shakespeare (tr. 1888), 246. New 
ground was broken by F. G. Fleay, On the Actor Lists , 1578-1642 ( R . Hist. 
Soc. Trans, ix. 44), and in the list in Chronicle History of the London Stage 
(1890), 370. Here he criticizes Collier’s claim to have a list of 500 actors, 
as he cannot find ‘ that any list at all was found among his papers *, and 
suggests that a forgery was planned. I am glad to have an opportunity 
for once of defending Collier, even if it is only against Fleay. The fifth 
report (1846) of the Sh. Soc. shows that ' a volume of the original actors 
in plays by writers other than Shakespeare was in preparation, and 
Bodl. MS. 29445 contains a number of rough extracts made by Collier 
and P. Cunningham from London parochial registers, with a digest of 
these and other material, entitled ‘ Old Actors. Collections for the Bio- 
graphy of, derived from Old Books & MSS. Alphabetically arranged '. 
I have used this manuscript and cite it as ‘ Bodl.' or 4 B.'. The informa- 
tion is mainly from the registers of St. Saviour's, Southwark, St. Andrew's 
Wardrobe, St. Anne’s, Blackfriars, St. Leonard’s, Shoreditch, St. Giles', 
Cripplegate, and other churches. It appears to be reliable, except perhaps 
in one or two points. One would, of course, prefer to have the registers 
themselves in print, but with the exception of those of St. James’s, Clerken- 
well (Harl. Soc.), and A. W. C. Hallen’s Registers of St. Botolph’s, Bishops * 
gate , the published London Registers, as shown by A. M. Burke, Key to 
the Ancient Parish Registers of England and Wales (1908), are precisely 
those of least theatrical interest. The Southwark registers in particular, 
and the other records of that parish, including the ‘ token-books ' or 
annual lists, street by street, of communicants, ought to be made available. 
Some notes from them are in W. Rendle, Bankside (1877, Harrison, 
Part ii). Southwark marriages (1605-25) are in Genealogist (n. s. vi-ix). 
In these records ‘man’ clearly means ‘player’. Extracts from other 
registers may be found in parochial histories and elsewhere. Some from 
St. Giles’s, Cripplegate, are in J. P. Malcolm, Londinium Redivivum 
(1802-7), iji. 303, J. J. Baddeley, St. Giles , Cripplegate (1888), and 
W. Hunter's Addl. MS. 24589. C. C. Stopes, Burbage , 139, gives a full 
collection from St. Leonard’s, Shoreditch. An interesting list of actors and 
their addresses c. 1623 is in C. W. Wallace, Gervase Markham , Dramatist 
(1910, Sh .- Jahrbuch, xlvi. 345), cited as ‘ J '• The citations * H ' and ‘ H. P ' 
are from Greg’s editions of Henslowe’s Diary and Henslowe Papers .] 



ACTORS 


296 

ABYNGDON, HENRY. Master of Chapel, i455~78« 

ADAMS, JOHN. Sussex’s, 1576; Queen’s, 1583, 1588. He possibly 
played the clown Adam in A Looking Glass and Oberon in James IV. 
It would hardly be justifiable to conjecture that he lived to join 
Hunsdon’s and play Adam in A. Y. L. 

ALDERSON, WILLIAM. Chapel, 1509-13. 

ALLEYN, EDWARD, was bom on 1 September 1566 in the parish 
of St. Botolph, Bishopsgate. 1 His father was Edward Alleyn of Willen, 
Bucks, Innholder and porter to the Queen, who died in 1570 ; his 
mother, Margaret Townley, for whom he claimed a descent from the 
Townleys of Lancashire which modem genealogists hesitate to credit, 
re-married with one John Browne, a haberdasher, between whom and 
other Brownes who appear in theatrical annals no connexion can be 
proved. Edward Alleyn is said by Fuller in his Worthies to have 
been ‘ bred a stage player ’. In formal deeds he is generally described 
as ‘ yeoman ’ or ‘ gentleman and once, in 1595, as 4 musician \ 2 In 
January 1583 he was one of Worcester’s players; at some later date 
he joined the Admiral’s men, and had as ‘ fellow ’ his brother John, 
with whom during 1589-91 he was associated in purchases of apparel. 
On 22 October 1592 he married Joan Woodward, step-daughter of 
Philip Henslowe, with whom he appears ever after in the closest 
business relations. A Dulwich tradition that he was already a 
widower probably rests on a mention of ‘ Mistris Allene ’ in an un- 
dated letter about a German tour by Richard Jones, which is com- 
monly assigned to February 1592, but is more probably of later date. 3 
Alleyn is specifically described as the Admiral’s servant in the Privy 
Council letter of assistance to Strange’s men (q.v.), with whom he 
travelled during the plague of 1593. Some of the letters passing 
between him and his wife and father-in-law during this tour are 
preserved at Dulwich, and are full of interesting domestic details 
about his white waistcoat and his orange tawny woollen stockings, 
the pasturing of his horse, his spinach bed, and the furnishing of his 
house. 4 His * tenants ’ are mentioned and his ' sister Phillipes & her 
husband ’. He had by this time a high reputation as an actor, as 

1 Alleyn’s life is more fully dealt with than is here possible in G. F. 
Warner and F. Bickley, Catalogue of Dulwich MSS. (1881, 1903) ; G. F. 
Warner in D. N. B. (1885) > W. Young, History of Dulwich College (1889) ; 
W. W. Greg, Henslowe Papers (1907), Henslowe' s* Diary , vol. 11 (1908). 
An earlier treatment of the material is that by J. P. Collier, Memoirs of 
Edward Alleyn (1841), Alleyn Papers ( 1 843) . On an account by G. Steevens 
in Theatrical Review (1763) with a forged letter from Peele to Marlowe, 
cf. Lee, 646. 

* Dulwich Muniments , 106. 8 Cf. ch. xiv. 

4 Henslowe Papers, 34, from Dulwich MSS., i. 9-15 ; Edward to Joan 
Alleyn, 2 May 1593 ; Henslowe to Edward Alleyn, 5 July 1593 ; Edward 
to Joan Alleyn, 1 August 1593 ; Henslowe to Edward Alleyn, c. August 
1 593 I Henslowe to Edward Alleyn, 1,4 August 1 593 ; Henslowe to Edward 
Alleyn, 28 September 1593 ; John Pyk (Alleyn’s ' boy ') to Joan Alleyn, 
c. 1593. Later letters of 4 June and 26 September 1598 from Henslowe 
to Edward Alleyn and of 21 October 1603 from Joan to Edward Alleyn 
are in Henslowe Papers, 47, 59, 97. 



ACTORS 


297 


witnessed by Nashe in his Pierce Penilesse of 1592, where he classes 
him with Tarlton, Knell, and Bentley, and says, * Not Roscius nor 
Aesope, those admyred tragedians that haue liued euer since before 
Christ was borne, could euer performe more in action than famous 
Ned Allen ’ ; and in his Strange Newes of the same year, where he says 
of Edmund Spenser that * his very name (as that of Ned Allen on the 
common stage) was able to make an ill matter good , . 1 An undated 
letter at Dulwich, written to him by an admirer who signs himself W. P., 
offers a wager in which 4 Peeled credit ’ was also in some way concerned, 
and in which Alleyn was to have the choice of any one of Bentley’s 
or Knell’s plays, and promises that, even if he loses, 4 we must and will 
saie Ned Allen still ’. 2 In 1594 The Knack to know a Knave is ascribed, 
quite exceptionally, on its title-page, not to the servants of a particular 
lord, but to 4 Ed. Allen and his Companie ’. From 1594 to 1597 Alleyn 
was one of the Admiral’s men (q.v.) at the Rose. He then * leafte 
playnge’, but resumed at the request of the Queen, although apparently 
without becoming a full sharer of the company, when the Fortune (q.v.), 
which he had built for them, was opened in the autumn of 1600. He 
became a servant of Prince Henry with the rest of his fellows in 1604, 
and at the coronation procession on 15 March appeared as the Genius 
of the City and delivered a 4 gratulatory speech ’ to James 4 with 
excellent action and a well-tun’de, audible voyce ’. 3 Further testi- 
monies to his talent are rendered by John Weever; 4 by Ben Jonson, 
Epigram lxxxix (1616), who equals him to Aesop and Roscius, and 
himself to Cicero, who praised them; by Heywood, who says, 4 Among 
so many dead let me not forget one yet alive, in his time the most 
worthy, famous Maister Edward Allen’; 5 and by Fuller, who says, 4 He 
was the Roscius of our age, so acting to the life that he made any part 
(especially a majestic one) to become him.’ 6 Of his parts are recorded 
Faustus, 7 Tamburlaine, Barabas in The Jew of Malta* and Cutlack in a 

1 Works, i. 215, 296. 

* Henslowe Papers, 32. The verses on the same theme in Collier, 
Memoirs, 13, are forged. 3 Dekker, Plays , i. 280. 

4 Epigrammes (1599), iv. 23 : 

In Ed: Allen. 

Rome had her Roscius and her Theater, 

Her Terence, Plautus, Ennius and Me[n]ander, 

The first to Allen, Phoebus did transfer 

The next, Thames Swans receiu'd fore he coulde land her, 

Of both more worthy we by Phoebus doome. 

Then t’ Allen Roscius yeeld, to London Rome. 

5 Heywood, Apology , 43. 

6 Fuller, Worthies (ed. 1840), ii. 385. 

? S. Rowland, Knave of Clubs (1609), 29 : 

The gull gets on a surplis 

With a crosse upon his breast. 

Like Allen playing Faustus, 

In that manner he was drest. 

8 Heywood, Epistle to The Jew of Malta (1633), ‘ the part of the Jew 
presented by so vnimitable an Actor as M r Allin * ; and Prologue , 

And He, then by the best of Actors [in margin * Allin ’] play’d : 
in Tamberlaine, 



ACTORS 


298 

play of that name revived by the Admiral's men in 1594 and now lost, 1 
while that of Orlando in Greene's Orlando Furioso is amongst the 
papers at Dulwich. 2 Heywood, writing about 1608, speaks of Alleyn’s 
playing in the past. He probably retired finally soon after the beginning 
of the new reign. In 1605 he valued his * share of aparell ' at £100 ; 
but his name is not in the patent to the Prince's men of 30 April 1606, 
although as late as 1611 he still retained his personal rank as servant 
to the prince. It is difficult to give much credit to the legend that his 
withdrawal was due to remorse, or, as one version has it, to an appari- 
tion of the devil when he was playing Faustus. 8 Certainly he con- 
tinued to hold an interest in the Fortune, and conceivably in the Red 
Bull (q.v.) also. And certainly remorse did not prevent him from 
continuing to exercise the functions of Master of the Game of Paris 
Garden, a post which he acquired jointly with Henslowe in 1604, 
having already been interested in the Beargarden itself since 1594. 
At this after it became the Hope (q.v.) he was still about 1617 enter- 
taining players. But the time of his retirement synchronizes with 
the first beginnings of his foundation of a school and hospital by the 
name of the College of God's Gift at Dulwich. By 1605 he was a 
wealthy man, with income from substantial investments in leasehold 
property as well as the profits from his enterprises, and on 25 October 
he took the first step in the purchase of the manor of Dulwich, which 
was completed by 1614 at a total cost of nearly £10,000. Here about 
1613 he made his residence, moving from Southwark, where he had 
been churchwarden of St. Saviour's in 1610. In 1613 also he began 
the building of the college, which was opened in 1617. Alleyn himself 
acted as manager and was in a position to spend upon the college and 
his own household some £1,700 a year. The endowment of the college 
included, besides house property in London, the freehold of the Fortune. 
Henslowe had died in January 1616 and his widow in the following 
year, and his papers passed to Alleyn and remain at Dulwich. Here, 
too, is Alleyn's own diary for 1617-22, and this and his correspondence 
show him as a friend of persons of honour, and the patron of writers and 
the members of his own former profession. Alleyn's wife Joan died on 
28 June 1623 and on the following 3 December he married Constance, 
daughter of John Donne, dean of St. Paul's, settling on her £1,500. 
A letter of 23 July 1624 indicates that he was then desirous of obtaining 
‘ sum further dignetie '. He died on 25 November 1626. 

ALLEYN, JOHN. Admiral's, 1589-91. Edward Alleyn had an elder 
brother John, who was bom in 1556-7, and is described as servant to 
Lord Sheffield and an Innholder in 1580, and as servant to the Lord 

This Jew, with others many, th’ other wan 
The Attribute of peerelesse, being a man 
Whom we may ranke with (doing no one wrong) 

Proteus for shapes, and Roscius for a tongue. 

So could he speake, so vary. 

1 E. Guilpin, Skialetheia (1598), Epig. xliii, 

Clodius me thinks lookes passing big of late, 

With Dunston’s browes, and Allens Cutlacks gate. 
a Henslowe Papers, 155. * For this myth, cf. ch. xxiii, s.v. Marlowe. 



ACTORS 


299 


Admiral in 1589* He died about May 1596, being then of St. Andrew’s, 
Holbom, and left a widow Margaret and son John. Presumably he 
was the Admiral’s player. But there was also an Allen family of 
St. Botolph’s, Bishopsgate, one of whom, John, was a player. Here 
a John was baptized on 17 October 1570, a Lowin, son of John, baptized 
on 15 December 1588, a Joan buried on 13 May 1593, and a John on 
18 May 1593. On 26 July 1596 is this curious baptismal entry: 
4 Bennett, reputed daughter of J no Allen, which J no went with 
S r Fr. Drake to the Indians in which time the child was got by a stage- 
player.’ Finally, on 18 October 1597, ‘ Jone uxor Joh !s Allen player 
was buried with a still bom child ’ (H. ii. 239 ; Bodl.) 

ALLEYN, RICHARD. Queen’s, (?) 1594; Admiral’s, 1597-1600. 
His daughters Anna and Elizabeth were baptized at St. Saviour’s, 
Southwark, on 13 May 1599 and 17 May 1601 respectively. Here he 
is traceable in the token-books during 1583-1601, and was buried on 
18 November 1601, leaving a widow (Rendle, Bankside , xxvi ; H. ii. 
239; Bodl.). 

ALLEYN (ALLEN), RICHARD. Revels, 1609 ; Lady Elizabeth’s, 
1613. 

ANDREWE, HENRY. Chapel, 1509. 

ANDREWES, RICHARD. Worcester’s, 1583. 

ANDROWES, GEORGE. Whitefriars lessee, 1608. 

APILEUTTER, CHRISTOPHER. Germany, 1615. 

ARCHER, RICHARD. Vide Arkinstall. 

ARCHER? (ARZSCHAR, ERTZER), ROBERT. Germany, 1608-16. 
ARKINSTALL, JOHN. A common player of interludes under 
licence, with Richard Archer, Barker, and Anthony Ward as his 
fellows. He was at Hastings on 25 March 1603, and on 30 March laid 
an information of the proclamation of Lord Beauchamp as king by 
Lord Southampton (Hist. MSS. xii. 4. 126). 

ARMIN, ROBERT, is said to have been apprentice to a goldsmith in 
Lombard Street, and to have been encouraged as a 4 wag ’ by Tarlton 
(ob. 1588), who prophesied that he should 4 enjoy my clownes sute 
after me ’. He 4 used to ’ Tarlton’s plays, and in time became himself 
a player 4 and at this houre performes the same, where, at the Globe 
on the Banks side men may see him ’A But his earliest reputation was 
as a writer. He wrote a preface to A Brief Resolution of the Right 
Religion (1590) and probably other things now unknown, for he is 
referred to as a son of Elderton in Nashe’s Foure Letters Confuted of 1592 
(Works, i. 280). R. A. wrote verses to Robert Tofte’s Alba (1598), and 
R. A. compiled England's Parnassus (1600) ; the latter is generally 
taken to be Robert Allot. The first dramatic company in which 
Armin can be traced is Lord Chandos’s men. In an epistle to Mary, 
widow of William Lord Chandos (1594-1602) prefixed to his kinsman 
Gilbert Dugdale’s True Discourse of the Practises of Elizabeth Caldwell , 
&c. (1604), he says, 4 Your good honor knowes Pinck’s poor heart, who 

1 Tarlton, 22, ' How Tarlton made Armin his adopted sonne, to succeed 
him \ The earliest extant edition of Tarlton* s Jests is that of 1611, but 
the Second Part, here quoted, was entered in S. R. on 4 Aug. 1600. 



3oo 


ACTORS 


in all my services to your late deceased kind lord, never savoured of 
flatterie or fixion.’ In his Foole upon Foole, or Six Sortes of Sottes (1600) 
he tells an incident which took place at Pershore in Worcestershire, 
during a tour of * the Lord Shandoyes players ', at which he was himself 
present, not improbably playing the clown 1 * Grumball \ 1 By 1599, 
however, he had probably joined the Chamberlain's men, for in the 
first edition of Foole upon Foole he describes himself as 1 Clonnico de 
Curtanio Snuffe \ In a later edition of 1605 this becomes 4 Clonnico 
del Mondo Snuffe '. Both issues are anonymous, but Armin put his 
name to an enlargement entitled A Nest of Ninnies (1608). 2 4 Clunny co 
de Curtanio Snuffe * is also on the title-page of Quips upon Questions 
(1600), which must therefore be by Armin and not by J. Singer, whose 
autograph Collier ( Bibl . Cat. ii. 203) said that he found on a copy. 
This is a book of quatrains on stage 4 themes ' (cf. ch. xviii). It was 
written, as a reference to 28 December as on a Friday shows, in 1599. 
The author serves a master at Hackney (A ij). Later editions of 1601 
and 1602 are said to have been in the Harley collection, and there is 
a reprint by F. Ouvry (1875). His name is in the 1603 licence for the 
King's men and in the Coronation list of 1604. In 1605 Augustine 
Phillips left him 205. as his 4 fellow '. Collier's statement that in the 
same year he and Kempe (q.v.) were in trouble for libelling aldermen 
cannot be verified. He is a King’s man on the title-page of his Two 
Maids of Moreclacke (1609), produced by the King's Revels, and on 
the title-page and in the S. R. entry on 6 February 1609 of his Phan- 
tasma, the Italian Tailor and his Boy. This is a translation from Stra- 
parola and is dedicated to Lord and Lady Haddington. In it he claims 
to have been 4 writ down an ass in his time ' and refers to 4 his con- 
stableship ’, from which it is inferred that he played Dogberry in 
Much Ado about Nothing. Fleay, L. of S. 300, finds a pun on 4 armine ' 
(= wretch) in London Prodigal ( c . 1603), v. i. 179, and suggests that 
Armin played Matthew Flowerdale. There is a clown Robin in Miseries 
of Enforced Marriage (1607), and a clown Grumball in If it be not 
Good (1610-12), but this was a play of Anne's men. He is in the actor- 
list of Jonson's Alchemist (1610). An epigram on 4 honest gamesome 
Robert Armin ’ is in John Davies of Hereford’s Scourge of Folly 
(S.R. 8 October 1610). He is not in the actor-list of Jonson's Catiline 
(1611), nor has any later notice of him been found. That Armin is 
the R. A. whose play The Valiant Welshman was published in 1615 is 
only a conjecture. He is in the Folio list of actors in Shakespeare's 
plays. It is possible that a woodcut on the title-page of the Two Maids 
(q.v.) gives his portrait. 

ARTHUR, THOMAS. Interludes, 1 528. 

ATTEWELL (OTTEWELL, OTWELL), GEORGE. Strange's, 1 591 ; 
Queen's, (?) 1595. 4 M r Otwell ' lived in St. Saviour's Close in 1 599. He 
is perhaps more likely than the following to be the author or singer 

1 Extract in Halliwell-Phillipps, i. 321 ; the unique copy of this edition 

is described in his Calendar of Shakespeare Parities (1887), 145. 

* Reprinted in the Shakespeare Society’s Fools and Jesters (1842). 



ACTORS 


301 


of ‘ M r Attowel’s Jigge : betweene Francis, a Gentleman ; Richard, 
a farmer; and their wives’, printed in A. Clark, Shirburn Ballads,, lxi 
(H. ii. 240 ; B. 147). , 

ATTWELL (OTTEWELL), HUGH. Revels, 1609; Lady Elizabeth’s, 
1613 ; Charles’s, 1616-21 ; ob. 25 September 1621. 

AUGUSTEN (AGUSTEN), WILLIAM. A ' player ’, from whom 
Henslowe bought his ' boy ’ Bristow in 1597 (H. ii. 240). 
AYNSWORTH, JOHN. A ' player ’ buried at St. Leonard’s 28 
September 1581 (B. 153). 

BAKER, HARRY. Performer of Vertumnus in Summer's Last Will 
and Testament , 1567. 

BAN ASTER, GILBERT. Master of Chapel, 1478-83 (?). 

BARFIELD, ROGER. Anne’s, 1606. His d. Isabell was baptized 
at St. Giles’s on 2 January 1611, and his d. Susan buried there on 
3 July 1614 (B. 157). 

BARKER. Vide Arkinstall. 

BARKSTED (BACKSTEAD), WILLIAM. King’s Revels (?), 1607 ; 
Revels, 1609; Lady Elizabeth’s, 1611, 1613; Charles’s, 1616; also a 
dramatist (cf. ch. xxiii) and a poet. His Poems , edited by A. B. Grosart 
as Part II of Choice Rarities of Ancient English Poetry (1876), were 
Myrrha (1607), which has commendatory verses by his kinsman Robert 
Glover and I. W., Lewes Machin, and William Bagnall, and Hiren 
(1611), which has sonnets to Henry Earl of Oxford, and Elizabeth 
Countess of Derby. On the title-page he describes himself as * one of 
the servants of his Maiesties Revels ’. The surmise of Fleay, i. 29, 
that this was repeated from an earlier edition of c . 1607 now lost may 
receive some confirmation from the connexion of Machin with the 
King’s Revels ; but it must also be remembered that the Whitefriars 
Revels’ company appears to be occasionally described as the King’s 
Revels in provincial records of c. 1611. A trivial anecdote of him is in 
J. Taylor, Wit and Mirth (1629). 

BARNE, WILLIAM. Admiral’s, 1602. 

BARRY, DAVID (LORD). Whitefriars lessee, 1608, and dramatist. 

BARTLE (?). Alexander Bartle, son of ‘ a player was baptized 

at St. Saviour’s on 27 February 1603 (B. 165). 

BARTON, ONESIPHORUS. A 4 player buried at St. Giles’s on 
9 March 1608 (B. 167). 

BASSE, THOMAS. Lady Elizabeth’s, 1611, 161^5 ; Anne’s, 1617-19. 
BAXTER, ROBERT. Chapel, 1601 ; Lady Elizabeth’s (?), 1613. 
Greg, H . P. 58, 87, however, thinks that the ‘ Baxter ’ of 1613, whose 
Christian name is not given, may be Barksted. Neither man is likely 
to have written the ‘ Baxsters tragedy ’ of 1602 ( H . P. 58). 

BAYLYE, THOMAS. Shrewsbury’s (provincial), 1581. J. Hunter, 
Hallamshire 80, and Murray, ii. 388, print from College of Arms, 
Talbot MS. G. f. 74, a Latin letter written by him to Thomas Bawdewin 
from Sheffield on 25 April 1581, in which he mentions a brother 
William, thanks him for a tragedy played by the company on St. 
George’s day, and begs him to procure * librum aliquem brevem, 
novum, iucundum, venustum, lepidum, hilarem, scurrosum, nebulosum. 



302 


ACTORS 


rabulosum, et omnimodis camificiis, latrociniis et Icnociniis refertum 
. . . qua in re dicunt quod Wilsonus quidam Leycestrii comitis servus 
(fidibus pollens) multum vult et potest facer e ’. 

BAYLYE. Paul’s chorister, >1582. 

BEART, RUDOLF. Germany, 1608. 

BEESTON, CHRISTOPHER, has been conjectured to be the * Kit ’ 
who played a Lord and a Captain in 2 Seven Deadly Sins for Strange’s 
or the Admiral’s about 1 590-1. The actor-list of Every Man in his 
Humour shows that he belonged to the Chamberlain’s men in 1598. 
He is not, however, named as a performer of Shakespeare’s plays in 
the Folio of 1623. Probably he was at one time the hired man of 
Augustine Phillips who left him 30 s. as his * servant ’ in 1605. By 
1602 he had passed to Worcester’s men, and with this company, after- 
wards Queen Anne’s, he remained until it was reconstituted on the 
Queen’s death in 1619, taking a prominent part in the management of 
the company, after the death of Thomas Greene in 1612. He seems 
to have built or acquired the Cockpit theatre, and to have successively 
housed there Queen Anne’s men (1617-19), Prince Charles’s men 
(1619-22), Lady Elizabeth’s men (1622-5), Queen Henrietta’s men 
(1625-37), and ‘ the King’s and Queen’s young company ’, also known 
as ‘ Beeston’s boys ’ (1637). By 1639 he had been succeeded as 
* Governor ’ of this company by his son William Beeston, and was 
doubtless dead. The Cockpit had passed by June 1639 to ‘ Mrs. Eliza- 
beth Beeston, alias Hutcheson \ 1 It appears from the lawsuit of 1623, 
in which Queen Anne’s men were concerned, that Christopher Beeston 
also bore the alias of Hutcheson or Hutchinson. But if Elizabeth was 
his widow, she must have been a second wife, for the records of the 
Middlesex justices for 1615-17 record several true bills for recusancy 
as brought against a wife Jane. In these records Beeston, whose alias 
is also given, is described as a gentleman or yeoman, and as * late of 
St. James-at-Clerkenwell ’, or in one case ‘ of Turmil streete ’. In 
1617 his house was burgled by Henry Baldwin and others. 2 The registers 
of St. James’s, Clerkenwell, record the baptism of a daughter Anne on 
15 September 1611, and the burial of a servant on 1 July 1615. 8 But 
at an earlier date Beeston lived in St. Leonard’s, Shoreditch, where his 
sons Augustine, Christopher, and Robert were baptized, and the first 
two buried between 16 November 1604 and 15 July 1610. Robert also 
was buried there on 26 December 1615, but Christopher was then 
described in the register as of Clerkenwell. Possibly he afterwards 
returned to Shoreditch, as Collier states that his name is traceable in 
the register up to 1637. 4 His son William, also a suspected recusant, 
was living in Bishopsgate Without just before his death in 1682. 6 An 
earlier William Beeston, with whom Christopher may have had some 
connexion, is the 1 Maister Apis Lapis ’ and ‘ Gentle M. William ’, to 
whom Nashe addressed his Strange Newes (1592). 6 

1 Variorum, iii. 159, 241, 242; M.S.C. i. 345. 

* Jeaffreson, ii. 107, no, 114, 120, 128, 220. 

• Harleian Soc. Registers, ix. 62 ; xvii. 13 1. 

4 Collier, Actors, xxxi. 6 M. 5 . C. i. 344. 8 McKerrow, Nashe , i. 255. 



ACTORS 


303 


BEESTON, ROBERT. Anne’s, 1604, 1609. 

BEESTON. A player at Barnstaple in 1560-1 (Murray, ii. 198). 

BELT, T. Strange’s (?), 1 590-1. 

BENFIELD, ROBERT, is first named in the actor-lists of Beaumont 
and Fletcher’s The Coxcomb and The Honest Man's Fortune , both of 
which probably represent performances by the Lady Elizabeth’s men 
in 1613. Subsequently he joined the King’s men, but at what date is 
uncertain. It may have been upon the death on 16 December 1614 of 
William Ostler, whom he succeeded in the part of Antonio in Webster’s 
Duchess of Malfi . He is in the actor-list of The Knight of Malta (1616- 
19) and in the patent of 1619. He seems to have been a member of 
the company to the end, as he signed the dedication of the 
Beaumont and Fletcher Folio in 1647. He is in the Folio list of 
actors in Shakespeare’s plays. Collier found some late records of 
his family (B. 181). 

BENTLEY, JOHN. Queen’s, 1583. He is named by Heywood as 
before his time, lauded by Nashe, Pierce Penilesse (1592) (Works, i. 215) 
with Tarlton, Alleyn, and Knell, coupled with Knell in the undated 
challenge to Alleyn (q.v.) to play one of their parts, and placed by 
Dekker in A Knight's Conjuring (1607) in the company of the poets, 
Watson, Kyd, and Achelow, * tho he had ben a player molded out of 
their pennes, yet because he had been their louer and register to the 
muse, inimitable Bentley ’. He may be the John Bentley whose poems 
are mentioned by Ritson, Bibliographia Poetica (1802), 129. 

BIERDT, BURCH ARD. Germany, 1612. 

BILLINGESLY, JOHN. Payee for Westminster boys, 1572. 

BIRCH, GEORGE. Interludes, 1538-59. 

BIRCH, JOHN. Interludes, 1547-56. 

BIRD, alias BORNE, WILLIAM. Chamberlain’s (?), 1597 ; Pem- 
broke’s, 1597 ; Admiral’s-Henry’s-Palsgrave’s, 1597-1622. Many 
personalia of his family and debts are recorded in Dulwich manu- 
scripts and church registers (H. ii. 241 ; B. 204). 

‘BLACK DICK.’ Admiral’s, 1597. 

BLACKWOOD, THOMAS. Worcester’s, 1602-3 ; Germany, 1603- 
6 (?). The conjecture of Fleay, i. 290, that an earlier German tour is 
referred to in How to Choose a Good Wife from a Bad (1602) is 
baseless (H. ii. 244). 

BLANEY, JOHN. Revels, 1609 ; Anne’s, 1616-19. He lived near 
the Red Bull in St. John’s Street in 1623 (J. 347). 

BLANK, WILLIAM ALEXANDER. A Scottish dancer in Germany, 
i 6 o 5 * 

BOONE, WILLIAM. A ‘ player ’ mentioned in books of St. Saviour’s, 
c. 1600 (Rendle, Bankside , xxvi). Possibly an error for Borne. 
BORNE, WILLIAM. Vide Birde. 

BOWER, RICHARD. Master of Chapel, 1 545-61 , and possibly author 
of Apius and Virginia (1575) ; cf. ch. xxiv. 

BOWRINGE, GREGORY. Paul’s chorister, >1582. 

BRADSHAW, RICHARD. Edward, Lord Dudley’s (provincial). 



304 


ACTORS 


1595. He was Gabriel Spencer’s ‘man’ in 1598, and concerned in 
financial transactions with Henslowe during 1598-1601. He may be 
the same Richard Bradshaw who had a provincial company, with a 
licence to which his title was dubious, in 1630-33 (H. ii. 245 ; Murray, 
ii. 42, 106, 163). 

BRADSTREET, JOHN. Germany, 1592-7, 1604. He ob. in 1618. 
BRETTEN, WILLIAM. Chapel, >1546. 

BRISTOW, JAMES. Augusten’s boy, 1597 ; Admiral’s, 1597-1602 
(H. ii. 245). 

BROMEHAM. Paul’s, >1582. 

BROWNE, EDWARD. Worcester’s, 1583 ; Admiral’s, 1602. He 
was a witness for Henslowe in 1599 (H. ii. 246). 

BROWNE, JOHN. Interludes, 1551-63. 

BROWNE, JOHN. Revels (?), 1608. 

BROWNE, ROBERT. Worcester’s, 1583 ; Holland, 1590 ; Germany, 
1592-3, 1594 (?)~9 ; Derby’s, 1599-1601 ; Germany, 1601-7 ; Revels 
patentee, 1610 ; Germany, 1618-20. His wife and family died at 
Shoreditch in the plague of 1593, but a son Robert and daughter Eliza- 
beth were baptized at St. Saviour’s on 19 October 1595 and 2 Decem- 
ber 1599. On 11 April 1612 he wrote to Alleyn from Clerkenwell 
(H.p.; 37, 63 ; B. 229 ; Rendle, Bankside, xxvi). 

BROWNE, WILLIAM. Anne’s, c. 1616. 

BROWNE. It is not safe to identify the Browne whom Henslowe paid 
to 4 feach ’ for the Admiral’s in 1596 (H. i. 45), or the * old Browne * 
who, as well as Edward, played in 1 Tamar Cham for the Admiral’s in 
1602 (H. P . 148), or * Browne of the Boares head ’ who, according to 
Alleyn’s wife on 21 Oct. 1603, 'is dead & dyed very pore, he went not 
into the countrye at all ’ (H. P . 59). The last may be the man whose 
widow married Thomas Greene (q.v.). 

BRYAN, GEORGE, was one of the English company which visited 
Helsingor in Denmark and Dresden in Germany during 1586-7. He is 
one of the three actors distinguished as ‘ Mr.’ in the plot of Tarlton’s 
The Seven Deadly Sins as played by Strange’s or the Admiral’s about 
1 590-1, and is named in the Privy Council warrant for the travelling 
of Strange’s in 1593. He was payee for the Chamberlain’s men on 
21 December 1596, but is not in the Every Man in his Humour actor-list 
of 1598 or traceable at any later date amongst the Chamberlain’s or 
King’s men. Probably he left to take up duty as an ordinary Groom 
of the Chamber, as he is found holding this post at Elizabeth’s funeral 
in 1603 and still held it ( Chamber Accounts) in 1611-13. His son 
George was baptized at St. Andrew’s Wardrobe on 17 February 1600. 1 
He is in the Folio list of actors in Shakespeare’s plays. 

BUCKE, PAUL. A ' player ’ whose d. Sara was buried on 23 July 
1580 and his bastard son Paul buried on 23 July 1599 at St. Anne’s 
(B. 237). It is apparently his name which, for whatever reason, appears 
at the end of Wilson’s Three Ladies of London (1584). * Paule Bucke’s 
praier for Sir Humfrey Gilberte ’ was entered in S. R. on 17 July 1578. 


1 Collier, iii. 364. 



ACTORS 


305 


BUGBY, JOHN. Grammar Master of Chapel, 1401. 

BULL, JOHN. Chapel, 1572 (?)->i 586. 

BULL, THOMAS. Denmark, 1579-80.- 

BURBADGE, JAMES. The Shakespearo-centric tendencies of 
literary historians have led them to suggest a regional connexion 
between the dramatist and the family of his most famous interpreter. 1 
There was a Warwickshire family of Burbadge, of whom John was 
bailiff of Stratford-on-Avon in 1555, and Malone was thus led 
(Var. iii. 187) to * suspect ’ that James Burbadge was Shakespeare’s 
countryman. Collier (iii. 258) having learnt that the arms claimed by 
Cuthbert Burbadge at the London visitation of 1634, 1 crest, a boar’s 
head ; and three boars’ heads on a shield ’ (Harleian Soc. xv), were those 
of a Hertfordshire family, attempted the explanation that the two 
families * were in some way related ’. He committed himself deeply 
by publishing in 1835 ( New Facts , 32 ; cf. Ingleby, 256) a forged letter 
from H. S. to Sir Thomas Egerton, containing the statement that 
Shakespeare and Richard Burbadge are ‘ both of one countie, and 
indeede almost of one towne ’. Burbadges are traceable in various 
parts of England, including Somerset, Oxfordshire, and Durham 
(Halliwell-Phillipps, ii. 344 ; Stopes, 134, 243), and the conjecture has 
about as much value as Malone’s derivation of the name (Var. iii. 182) 
from 1 Borough-bridge ’, or Chalmers’s from * Boar’s badge ’. Nor is any 
connexion known between James Burbadge and various other Bur- 
badges — Robert, John, and Edward — who appear in contemporary 
documents (Collier, iii. 282 ; Stopes, 152), although A. Wood ( Fasti 
Oxon. i. 303) makes himself responsible for the statement that one 
John Burbadge, of Lincoln College, was nearly related to the actor. 
The name is indifferently spelt Burbadge, Burbage, or Burbege by 
contemporaries, but usually Burbadge in family signatures (Wallace, 
61, 63 ‘ James Burbage ’, 252 ; Collier, iii. 294 ; Malone Soc. Coll. 
ii. 69, 76). James sealed the Blackfriars indentures of 1596 with a 
griffin. 

James was about sixty on 16 February 1591 (Wallace, 61) and was 
therefore born in 1 530-1. He was * by occupacion a joyner and 
reaping but a small lyving by the same, gave it over and became a 
commen player in playes ’ (Wallace, 141). He was one of Leicester’s 
men in 1572, 1574, and 1576, and apparently continued a 4 fellow ’ of 
this or some other company for a year or two after he established the 
Theatre in 1576 (Wallace, 142). In this year he was a poor man, and 
of small credit, not worth above 100 marks (Wallace, 134, 141, 153), 
but he had enlisted the capital of John Brayne, whose sister Ellen he* 
had married (Wallace, 40, 139). His business history thereafter is 
bound up with that of the Theatre (q.v.) and of the Blackfriars, which 
he planned, but probably never used, during the last years of his life. 
Cuthbert Burbadge says of him (Blackfriars Sharers Papers , 1635) 

1 The biographical material collected by C. C. Stopes, Burbage and 
Shakespeare's Stage (1913), is supplemented by the lawsuit records in 
C. W. Wallace, The First London Theatre , Materials for a History (1913, 
Nebraska University Studies , xiii. 1). 

2229-2 


X 



ACTORS 


306 

that he ' was the first builder of playhowses, and was himselfe in his 
younger yeeres a player \ He was described as ' joyner ’ in the lease 
of the Theatre site in 1576, but in later years usually as ' yeoman ’ or 

* gentleman ’. Presumably he went to live in Shoreditch in 1576, as 
entries for his family then begin in the registers of St. Leonard’s 
(Stopes, 139). They testify to the baptism (17 March 1576) of a 
daughter Alice, mentioned as Alice Walker in the will of Nicholas 
Tooley (q.v.) in 1623, and the burial (18 August 1582) of a daughter 
Joan. Another daughter, Helen, was buried at St. Anne’s, Black- 
friars, on 15 December 1595 (Bodl.). Besides Alice and Helen he had 
in 1588 (Wallace, 39) two sons, Cuthbert and Richard, who would 
both have been bom before 1576. James himself was buried at Shore- 
ditch on 2 February 1597 and his widow on 8 May 1613. The registers 
generally give the family residence as * Halliwell Street ’, and the 

* Halliwell ’ which appears in 1597 and 1601 is perhaps an accidental 
variant. But the lawsuits suggest that James had built himself a 
house in the old inner cloister yard of the priory, which lay a little 
north of Halliwell Street, if that is the same as Holywell Lane (Wallace, 
232, 236). They also represent him as a man of violent temper and not 
over-honest, while an independent record (App. D, No. lxxiv) refers 
to him as ' a stubburne fellow ’. Before his death he seems to have 
made over his interest in the Blackfriars to his son Richard, while 
that in the Theatre had passed by redemption of a mortgage to 
Cuthbert (Wallace, 55, 73, 108, 145, 278). 

Cuthbert Burbadge, the elder son of James, was not an actor, 
although as holder of the leases of the Theatre and afterwards of the 
Globe (q.v.) he was concerned during the greater part of his life with 
theatrical management. On 16 February 1591 he was servant to 
Walter Cope, gentleman usher to Lord Burghley. He was then twenty- 
four, and must have been bom in 1 566-7 . He was then probably living in 
the Strand (Stopes, 152), but the subsidy rolls for 1597 (Stopes, 195) 
show him as assessed at 105. Sd. in Holywell Street, and the registers 
of St. Leonard’s have the records of his children, Walter (bapt. 22 June 
r595), James (bur. 15 July 1597), and Elizabeth (bapt. 30 December 
1601). Of these only Elizabeth, the wife first of Amias Maxey and 
secondly of George Bingley, was alive in 1634 and her son Amias had 
been adopted by his grandfather. Cuthbert himself was buried at 
Shoreditch on 17 September 1636, and his widow Elizabeth, daughter 
of John Cox, on 1 October 1636 (Stopes, 134, 140). His friend- 
ship with members of the King’s company is commemorated by 
notices in the wills of William Sly (1608), Richard Cowley (1618), and 
Nicholas Tooley, who died in his house in 1623. Collier (iii. 285) 
identified him with Cuthbert Burby the stationer, but Burby was in 
fact the son of Edmund Burby of Beds., husbandman (Arber, ii. 127). 
Possibly, however, the families were related, since Burby’s name is 
given at least once in the Stationers’ Register (Arber, ii. 612) as 
' Burbidge ’. 

BURBADGE, RICHARD, makes his first appearance, picturesquely 
enough, in the brawl at the Theatre which followed upon the Chancery 



ACTORS 


307 


Order of 13 November 1590, restoring a moiety of the profits of the 
house to the widow Brayne (cf. p. 392). John Alleyn deposed (Wallace, 
101) that he ‘ found the foresaid Ry. Burbage the yongest sone of the 
said James Burbage there, w t a broome staff in his hand, of whom when 
this deponente asked what sturre was there, he answered in laughing 
phrase hew they come for a moytie. But quod he (holding vppe the 
said broomes staff) I haue, I think, deliuered him a moytie with this 
& sent them packing.’ Nicholas Bishop (Wallace, 98, 115), one of 
Mrs. Brayne’s agents, adds the confirmatory detail that ‘ the said 
Ry. Burbage scornfully & disdainfullye playing with this deponentes 
nose, sayd, that yf he delt in the matter, he wold beate him also, and 
did chalendge the field of him at that tyme \ Very possibly Richard 
was then playing with the Admiral’s men at the Theatre. His exact 
age is unknown, but he was younger than Cuthbert, bom in 1566-7, 
and as Cuthbert, long after, spoke of the 1 35 yeeres paines, cost, and 
labour ’ out of which his brother * made meanes to leave his wife and 
children some estate * in 1619 {Sharers Papers ) , it may perhaps be 
inferred that his histrionic career began as early as 1584. The 1 plot ’ 
of The Dead Maris Fortune , wherein the doubtful direction (cf. p. 125) 
* Burbage a messenger ’ suggests that he played a minor part, may belong 
to a performance by the Admiral’s c. 1590. It is a little more difficult 
to suppose that at a date when the Queen’s men were still active the 
Admiral’s or Strange’s had already acquired Tarlton’s Seven Deadly 
Sins, in the ‘ plot ’ of which ‘ R. Burbadg ’ is cast for the important 
characters of Gorboduc and Terens. But perhaps it is even less 
probable that, after the breach of the Admiral’s with his father in 
1591, he took part in the performances of the same play by the amalga- 
mated Admiral’s and Strange’s men at the Rose in 1592. His name 
does not appear amongst those of the Strange’s men who were travelling 
in 1593. But when the amalgamation broke up, and the Chamberlain’s 
company was formed, with some of its elements as a nucleus, in 1594, 
he joined that company, and became a prominent member, often 
acting as its representative or payee, both before and after its meta- 
morphosis into the King’s men, and to the end of his own life. His 
name is constant in its lists (cf. ch. xiii), and his personal relations 
with his fellows are reflected in the wills of Augustine Phillips in 1605, 
Shakespeare in 1616, and Nicholas Tooley, whose * master ’ he had 
been, in 1623. It would appear that in the somewhat irregular dis- 
position of James Burbadge’s theatrical interests the Blackfriars 
freehold fell primarily to Richard. The leases of 1608 were made by 
him as lessor to his brother and other members of the King’s men’s 
syndicate as lessees. This, however, was doubtless a mere family 
arrangement, for Cuthbert spoke of the Blackfriars in 1635 as * our 
inheritance ’, and the two brothers shared in the supplementary 
transactions which rounded off the original purchase (cf. ch. xvii). 
At the Globe, on the other hand, Cuthbert and Richard held in common 
a moiety of the housekeepers’ interest under the lease from Nicholas 
Brend (cf. ch. xvi). They continued to live as close neighbours in 
Halliwell Street, Shoreditch, where they shared the misfortune of 

x 2 



308 


ACTORS 


having their houses burgled in 1615 (Jeaffreson, it. 108) and where 
the registers of St. Leonard’s (Stopes, 139) record Richard’s children : 
Richard (bur. 16 August 1607), Julia or Juliet (bapt. 2 January 1603, 
bur. 12 September 1608), f Frances (bapt. 16 September and bur. 
19 September 1604), Anne (bapt. 8 August 1607), Winifred (bapt. 
10 October 1613, bur. 14 October 1616), a second Julia (bapt. 26 Decem- 
ber 1614, bur. 15 August 1615), William (bapt. 6 November 1616), and 
a posthumous Sara (bapt. 5 August 1619, bur. 29 April 162 5). * Richard 
Burbadge, player’ was himself buried on 16 March 1619. He had died, 
not as Camden records in his Annals on 9 March, but on 13 March, 
after making the day before a nuncupative will (Collier, iii. 293), 
witnessed by his brother and by Nicholas Tooley and Richard Robinson 
of the King’s men, in which he left his wife Winifred sole executrix. 
She subsequently married Richard Robinson, and was still alive, as 
was Burbadge’s son William, in 1635 (Sharers Papers). According to 
the gossip of the day he left * better than £300 land to his heirs ’ (Collier, 
iii. 297). 

Burbadge had a high reputation as a player, both in life and after 
death. A note of 13 March 1602 by John Manningham (Diary, 39) 
records how his impersonation of Richard III touched the heart of a 
citizen’s wife, and how Shakespeare prevented him at a resultant 
assignation. John Davies of Hereford coupled him with Shakespeare 
in 1603 (Microcosmos) among players whom he loved ‘ for painting, 
poesie’, and in 1609 (Civile Wanes of Death and Fortune) amongst 
those whom Fortune * guerdond not, to their desarts ’. He is intro- 
duced in propria persona into 2 Return from Parnassus (1602) and into 
Marston’s induction to The Malcontent (1604). Probably he is the 
‘ one man ’ of the London stage with whom the player in Ratseis Ghost 
(1605 ; cf. ch. xviii) is advised * to play Hamlet for a wager Jonson, 
in Bartholomew Fair (1614), v. iii, makes Cokes ask the master of the 
puppets, ‘ which is your Burbage now ? . . . your best Actor. Your 
Field ? ’ He was apparently the model for the Character of an Actor 
in the Characters of 1615 (App. C, No. lxi). And other evidences of 
his fame can be traced down to Restoration days in Richard Corbet’s 
Iter Boreale, in Sir Richard Baker’s Chronicle and Theatrum Redivivum, 
and in Richard Flecknoe’s Short Discourse of the English Stage and his 
Euterpe Restored (cf. Collier, iii. 279 ; Stopes, 12 1 ; Shakespeare's 
Centurie of Prayse , N.S.S., 128, 250). 

Shortly after Burbadge’s death, on 20 May 1619, the Earl of Pem- 
broke wrote to Lord Doncaster in Germany of a great supper given 
the same night by the Duke of Lennox to the French ambassador, and 
adds that the company were now at the play, ‘ which I being tender- 
harted could not endure to see so soone after the loss of my old acquain- 
tance Burbadg ’ (E. J. L. Scott in Athenaeum (1882), i. 103). Several 
epitaphs and elegies upon Burbadge are preserved. The shortest — 
‘Exit Burbadge’ — was printed in Camden’s Remaines (1674), 541. 
Another is by Middleton (Collier, iii. 280, 296). A third, which begins 
Some skillfull limner helpe mee, yf not soe. 

Some sad tragedian, to expresse my woe. 



ACTORS 


309 


has been the subject of much controversy (cf. Halliwell-Phillipps, 
ii. 88 ; C. M. Ingleby, The Elegy on Burbadge, in Shakespeare, the Man 
and the Book, ii. 169). It exists in two versions, one of 86 lines, the 
other of 124 lines. Of the shorter version several undoubtedly genuine 
manuscripts are known, and it is probably only by accident that one 
of these omits 11. 2-5 of the following passage, which is given completely 
by all the rest : 

Hee 's gone & with him what a world are dead. 

Which he reuiud, to be reuiued soe. 

No more young Hamlett, ould Heironymoe. 

Kind Leer, the greued Moore, and more beside. 

That liued in him, haue now for ever dy*de. 

Oft haue I seene him leap into the graue. 

Suiting the person which he seem’d to haue 
Of a sadd louer with soe true an eye, 

That theer I would haue swome, he meant to dye. 

Oft haue I seene him play this part in ieast, 

Soe liuely, that spectators, and the rest 
Of his sad crew, whilst he but seem’d to bleed. 

Amazed, thought euen then hee dyed in deed. 

In the longer version 11 . 2-5 are not only omitted, but are replaced by 
an interpolation of many lines, detailing a number of parts, some of 
which belonged to other companies than the King’s, and are not likely 
to have been played by Burbadge. No manuscript of this version is 
forthcoming, and there can be little doubt that the interpolation is 
due to Collier, who referred to the version in his New Particulars 
(1836), 27, and published it in his Memoirs of the Actors (1846), 52, 
professedly from a manuscript in the possession of Richard Heber. 
Of the shorter version I can add to what has been recorded by others 
that in Stowe MS. 962, f. 62 v , I have found a copy of it, with the title 
* An Elegie on the death of the famous actor Rich: Burbage, who died 
13 Martij A°. 1618 ’, and an ascription to ‘ Jo ffietcher \ Other copies 
also give the date of Burbadge’s death, or refer, as do the opening lines 
themselves, to the fact that he was skilled not only as an actor but as 
a limner. John Davies testifies to this in the verses of 1603 already 
cited. The accounts of the Earl of Rutland for the birthday tilt of 
1613 contain the entry, * 31 Martij, To M r . Shakspeare in gold, about 
my Lordes impreso, 44 s . To Richard Burbage for paynting and 
makyng yt,in gold, 44 s ’ ; and those for the tilt of 1616, ‘ 25 Martij, 
1616, paid given Richard Burbidg for my Lordes shelde and for the 
embleance, 4 1 * i8 fl * ( H . M . C. Rutland MSS. iv. 494, 508). The 
gallery at Dulwich contains a picture presented by William Cartwright, 
which is described in his catalogue as 4 a womans head on a boord 
done by M r . Burbige y 6 actor \ The inveterate tendency of mankind 
to guess has led to suggestions that he may have painted the portrait 
of himself in the same gallery, the Chandos portrait of Shakespeare, 
or the original of the Droeshout print. 

One other record of Burbadge, apart from his company, may be 
noted. On 31 May 1610 he was employed by the City, with his fellow 
James Rice, to deliver a speech to Prince Henry at a water-pageant on 



3*0 


ACTORS 


the Thames (cf. ch. iv). Presumably he represented Amphiori, 4 a 
grave and judicious Prophet-like personage ', and Rice Corinea. 
BURGES, ROBERT. A 4 player ' buried at St. Bennett, Grace- 
church, 14 April 1559 (B. 251). 

CANDLER, JAMES. Leader of a company at Ipswich, 1569-70 
(Hist, MSS. ix. 1. 248). 

CARIE (GARY), GILES. Revels, 1609; Lady Elizabeth's, 16 11, 1613. 
CARLETON, NICHOLAS. Paul's, >1582. 

CARPENTER, WILLIAM. Lady Elizabeth's, 1611 ; Charles's, 1619, 
1625. He was apparently porter at the Marshalsea in 1623 (J. 347). 
CARTWRIGHT, WILLIAM. Admiral's-Henry's, 1598-1622 (H. ii. 
247). He lived at the upper end of White Cross Street in 1623 (J. 347). 
CASTLE, THOMAS. A * player ', whose son Nicholas and daughter 
Hester were baptized at St. Giles's on 9 October 1608 and 15 April 1610 
(B. 262). 

CATTANES. Worcester's, 1602 (H. ii. 248). 

CAVALLERIZZO, CLAUDIO. Italians, 1576 (?). 

CHAPPELL, JOHN. Chapel, 1600-1. 

CHESSON, THOMAS. Oxford's (?), 1580. 

CLARK, SILL. Prince’s, i6o3< >1641. 

CLARKE, ROBERT. A 4 player ' whose son Ezekiel was buried at 
St. Giles's, 7 November 1617 (B. 268). 

CLARKE, THOMAS. Leicester's, 1572. 

CLAY, NATHANIEL. Anne’s, 1618 ; Chamber of Bristol, 1618. 
CLEMENT, WILLIAM. London player, 1550 (App. D, No. v). 
CLIFTON, THOMAS. Kidnapped for Chapel, 1600. 

COBORNE, EDWARD. A 4 player ' whose son John was baptized at 
St. Giles's on 23 Nov. 1616. Of other family entries, 1613-25, some 
are for Edward Cobome 4 gentleman ' (Bodl.) . He may be identical 
With COLBRAND. 

COKE, RICHARD. Interluders, 1547-56. 

COLBRAND, EDWARD. Palsgrave's, 1610-13. 

COLE. Paul's, 1599. 

COLMAN, WILLIAM. Chapel, 1509. 

CONDELL, HENRY, has been conjectured to be the 4 Harry ' cast 
for Ferrex and a Lord in the 4 plot ’ of The Seven Deadly Sins, as 
played by Strange's or the Admiral's about 1 590-1. The first definite 
notice of him is in the cast of Jonson's Every Man in his Humour, as 
played by the Chamberlain's men in 1598. Thereafter he appears in 
all formal lists of the Chamberlain's and King's men, up to the Caroline 
patent of 1625, including the list in the First Folio of 1623, of which, 
with Heminges, he acted as editor. He is also in all the casts up to 
The Humourous Lieutenant (c. 1619). About this date he presumably 
ceased to play ; his part of the Cardinal in The Duchess of Malfi had 
passed to Richard Robinson by 1623. The fact that he took this part 
somewhat discredits the conjecture of John Roberts (Answer to Pope, 
1729) that he was a comedian ; nor can the statement of the same 
writer that he was a printer be verified. He is staged with other 
members of the company in Marston's Malcontent (1604), and appears 



ACTORS 


3*1 

as * Henry Condye 1 in the verses on the burning of the Globe in 1613. 
He is assigned 265. Sd. to buy a ring as Shakespeare’s 1 fellowe ’ in his 
will of 1616, and appears also as a legatee in the will of Augustine 
Phillips in 1605, as trustee in that of Alexander Cooke in 1614, as 
executor and joint residuary legatee in that of Nicholas Tooley in 1623, 
under which also his wife and his daughter Elizabeth receive legacies, 
and as executor in that of John Underwood in 1625. By 1599 he was 
married and apparently settled in St. Mary Aldermanbury, where he 
held various parochial offices during 1606-21, and the register records 
his children : Elizabeth (bapt. 27 February 1599, bur. n April 1599), 
Anne (bapt. 4 April 1601, bur. 16 July 1610), Richard (bapt. 18 April 
1602), Elizabeth (bapt. 14 April 1603, bur. 22 April 1603), Elizabeth 
(bapt. 26 October 1606), Mary (bapt. 30 January 1608, bur. from 
Hoxton at St. Leonard’s, Shoreditch, 24 March 1608), Henry (bapt. 
6 May 1610, bur. 4 March 1630), William (bapt. 26 May 1611), Edward 
(bapt. 22 August 1614, bur. 23 August 1614). 1 Subsequently he had 
a * country house ’ at Fulham, at which on 10 September 1625 a 
pamphlet written by certain players on their travels during the plague, 
as a reply to Dekker’s A Rod for Run-awayes , under the title of The 
Run-awayes Answer , was addressed to him, with an expression of 
gratitude for a ‘ free and noble farewell ’ which he had given the 
writers. At Fulham, too, on 13 December 1627, l* e made his will, 
leaving to his widow Elizabeth, his sons Henry and William, and his 
daughter Elizabeth, wife of Herbert Finch, much household property 
at Aldermanbury and elsewhere in London, including 1 rents and 
profits ’ by ‘ leases and terms of years ’ of ‘ messuages houses and places ’ 
in Blackfriars and on the Bankside, which were to pass for a time to 
William and ultimately to the widow. 2 Condell had not been an 
original sharer in the house of the Globe, but by 1612 had acquired 
an interest jointly with Heminges ; of the Blackfriars house he was 
an original sharer in 1608. The Sharers Papers of 1635 indicate that 
Mrs. Condell had held four-sixteenths of the Globe and one-eighth 
of the Blackfriars, but had transferred two-sixteenths of the Globe 
when Taylor and Lowin were admitted as sharers. A minor legacy 
in Condell’s will is to his old servant, Elizabeth Wheaton, of her 
‘ place or priviledge ’ in the Globe and Blackfriars. Heminges and 
Cuthbert Burbadge are named as overseers. Condell was buried on 
29 December 1627, and his widow on 3 October 1635, both at St. Mary 
Aldermanbury. 3 

COOKE, ALEXANDER, has been conjectured to be the * Sander ’ who 
is cast in the * plot ’of The Seven Deadly Sins as played by Strange’s 
or the Admiral’s about 1 590-1, for the parts of Videna in Envy and 
Progne in Lechery . But, as far as this goes, he might just as well be 
the ‘ San.’ who took the part of a player in Taming of a Shrew (1594)1 
ind. 1, which was a Pembroke’s play. Malone * presumes ’, with some 

1 Variorum, iii. 199, 476 ; Collier, iii. 367 ; P. C. Carter, Hist . oj 
St. Mary Aldermanbury , 9, 11, 21, 58, 86, 87. 

2 Variorum, iii. 200, from P. C. C. ; Collier, iii. 376. 

8 Collier, iii. 376, 380. 



312 


ACTORS 


rashness, that he performed * all the principal female characters ’ in 
Shakespeare’s plays. 1 It must be doubtful whether he was on the 
stage as early as 1 592. He is traceable as a member of the King’s men 
in the casts of Sejanus (1603), Volpone (1605), Alchemist (1610), 
Catiline (1611), and The Captain (1612-13). The fact that in the first 
two of these his name occurs at the end of the lists has been somewhat 
hazardously accepted as an indication that he played women’s parts. 
He is also in the First Folio list of performers in Shakespeare’s plays. 
Augustine Phillips left him a legacy as his * fellow ’ in 1605. 

‘ Mr. Cooke and his wife ’ commend themselves to Alleyn in his 
wife’s letter of 21 October 1603. 2 The token-books of St. Saviour’s, 
Southwark, show an Alexander Cooke in Hill’s Rents during 1604, 
1607, 1609, and 1610 ; and the parish register, recording the baptism 
of Francis Cooke, son of Alexander, ‘ a player ’, on 27 October 1605, 
makes an identification possible. There were three more children, 
Rebecca (bapt. 11 October 1607), Alice (bapt. 3 November 1611), 
Alexander (bapt. 20 March 1614). This last was posthumous ; the 
register records Alexander Cooke’s burial on 25 February 1614. 8 His 
will, dated 3 January 1614, leaves £50 each to Francis, Rebecca, and 
the unborn child, and the residue to his wife. 4 He owned £50 * which 
is in the hand of my fellowes, as my share of the stock ’. He appoints 
' my master Hemings ’, to whom he had presumably been apprenticed, 
and Condell trustees for his children, and mentions brothers Ellis 
and John, of whom the latter is conjectured by Collier to be the author 
of Greene's Tu Quoque. 

COOKE, EDWARD. Chapel, 1509. 

COOKE, LIONEL. Queen’s, 1583, 1588. 

COOKE, THOMAS. Worcester’s, 1583. 

COOKE, WILLIAM. Whitefriars lessee, 1608. 

CORNISH, JOHN. Gentleman of Chapel, and pageant-master at 
wedding of Arthur in 1501. 

CORNISH, KIT. A ' ghost-name ’ in Chapel records. 

CORNISH, WILLIAM. Master of Song School, Westminster, 1479-80. 
CORNISH, WILLIAM. Master of Chapel, 1509-23. Conceivably 
identical with the last, and in any case probably of the same family. 
COWLEY, RICHARD, was of Strange’s men in 1593. He had played 
minor parts with that company or the Admiral’s in The Seven Deadly 
Sins of 1 590-1, and is mentioned in Alleyn’s correspondence as 
travelling with the company. He joined the Chamberlain’s men, 
probably on their formation in 1594, and was payee for the company 
in 1601. The stage-directions to the Quarto (1600) and Folio texts 
of Much Ado about Nothing , iv. ii, show that he played Verges. He is 
in the 1603 and 1604 lists of the King’s men, and received a legacy 
from Augustine Phillips as his ‘ fellow ’ in 1605, but does not appear 
to have been a sharer in the houses of the Globe or Blackfriars. He 
is in the Folio list of performers in Shakespeare’s plays. He dwelt in 

1 Variorum, iii. 21 1. * Henslowe Papers , 61. 

* Collier, iii. 406 ; Rendle, Bank side, xxvi. 

* Variorum, iii. 482, from P. C. C. ; Collier, iii. 409. 



ACTORS 


313 


Holywell, or for a short period in Alleyn’s Rents, both in the parish 
of St. Leonard’s, Shoreditch, whose register records his children, 
Robert (bapt. 8 March 1596, bur. (?) 20 March 1597), Cuthbert (bapt. 
8 May 1597), Richard (bapt. 29 April 1598, bur. 26 February 1603), 
Elizabeth (bapt. 2 February 1602), as well as the funeral of his wife 
Elizabeth on 28 September 1616, and his own on 12 March 1619. 1 His 
will, dated on 13 January 1618, appoints his daughter Elizabeth Birch 
executrix and is witnessed by Heminges, Cuthbert Burbadge, Shank, 
and Thomas Ravenscroft, perhaps the madrigalist. 2 
CRANE, JOHN. A London player in 1550 (App. D, No. v). 

CRANE, WILLIAM. Master of Chapel, 1523-45. 

CROSSE, SAMUEL, is named amongst the performers of Shakespeare’s 
plays in the First Folio, but in no list of the Chamberlain’s or 
King’s men. Probably, therefore, he belongs to the very beginning 
of Shakespeare’s career, and is to be identified with the Crosse named 
by Heywood amongst famous actors of a generation before his time. 3 
CUMBER, JOHN. Anne’s, 1616-19. He lived in Aldermanbury in 
1623, and died in that year (T. 347 : Fleay, 279). 

CURTEYS, JAMES. Chapel, 1509. 

CUTLER, JAMES. Chapel, > 1605. 

DABORNE, ROBERT. Revels patentee, 1610, and dramatist. 
DANIEL, JOHN. Chamber of Bristol patentee, 1615-17. 

DANIEL, SAMUEL. Allower of Revels’ plays, 1604, and dramatist. 
DARLOWE. Admiral’s, >1590. 

DAVIES, HUGH. Admiral’s (?), 1601 (H. ii. 255). 

DAWES, ROBERT. Duke of York’s, 1610 ; Lady Elizabeth’s, 1614. 
DAY, JOHN. Admiral’s (?), c. 1600. John, son of John Day, * player’, 
was baptized at St. Saviour’s, 3 June 1604 (B. 308 ; cf. ch. xxiii). 

DAY, THOMAS. Chapel, 1601, 1602. 

DOB. Admiral’s, 1598-1601. 

DOWNTON (DOWTON, DOUTON (?), DOWTEN, DOWGHTON, 
DENYGTEN, DOUBTON), THOMAS. Strange’s, 1593 ; Admiral’s- 
Henry’s-Palsgrave’s, 1594-c. 1618. The St. Saviour’s registers record 
various family events, including the baptism of Christopher, son of 
Thomas Dowton * musycyon ’ on 27 December 1592 and that of 
Thomas Dowton * basebome, the supposed son of Thomas Dowton, a 
player ’,25 May 1600. He apparently married a vintner’s widow on 
15 February 1618, became a vintner, and was still alive on 18 August 
1622 (B. 316 ; H. ii. 262, 265). Dr. Greg regards him as one of the 
Dutton family. 

DRAKE, ROBERT. A London player in 1550 (cf. App. D, No. v). 
DRAYTON, MICHAEL. Whitefriars lessee, 1608, and dramatist. 
DREWE, BARTHOLOMEW. A ‘ player ’, whose son George was 
baptized at St. Saviour’s on 12 November 1614 (B. 314). 

DREWE, THOMAS. Anne’s, 1616-19. 

DROM, THOMAS. Admiral’s, 1601. 

1 Collier, iii. 389. 

* H. R. Plomer in 10 N. Q. vi. 368, from London Archdeaconry Wills , 
vi, f. 22. 8 Heywood, Apology , 43. 



314 


ACTORS 


DRUSIANO. Vide Martinelli. 

DUKE, JOHN. Strange’s (?), 1590-1 ; Chamberlain’s, 1598; Wor- 
cester’s-Anne’s, 1602-9. Four children were baptized at St. Leonard’s, 
where he lived in Holywell Street, from July 1604 to January 1609 
(H. ii. 265 ; Collier, Actors , xxxi). 

DULANDT (DOWLAND ?), ROBERT. Musician in Germany, 1623. 
DUTTON, EDWARD. Admiral’s, 1597, with a boy ‘Dick’. 
Children of his were baptized at St. Saviour’s during 1600-2 (B. 326). 
DUTTON, JOHN. Warwick’s, 1575-6 ; Oxford’s, 1580 ; Queen’s, 
1583, 1588-91. Lincoln’s Inn paid him for musicians in 1567-8 
(Walker, i. 362). There are family records of a John Dutton at St. 
Botolph’s, who is called * player ’ in the entry of a daughter Elizabeth’s 
baptism of 3 July 1586 (B. 328). 

DUTTON, LAURENCE. Lane’s, 157 1-2 ; Clinton’s, 1572-5 ; War- 
wick’s, 1575-6 ; Oxford’s, 1580 ; Queen’s, 1589-91. It is curious that 
a John and a Laurence Dutton also appear as Court Messengers. I find 
a payment on 23 May 1578 to John for carrying letters to Antwerp 
(Pipe Office , Chamber Declared Account 541, m. 21 i v ), and Laurence 
was paid for * sondry jorneys ’ in 1561-2 (ibid. m. 39) and was during 
1576-82 one of the regular Messengers of the Chamber in attendance on 
the Privy Council (Dasent, ix. 223, x. 223, 228, xi. 437, xii. 23, xiii. 135, 
392, etc.). The* Edward ’ Dutton of the last entry may be an error. 
In 1592 the Council (xxii. 493) recommended John the son of Laurence 
who had * of long tyme served her Majestie ’ as Messenger, for admis- 
sion as a Queen’s Scholar at Westminster. But this Laurence can 
hardly have been the actor, for he was acting as Messenger on 20 May 
1 580, while the affray for which Laurence the actor had been committed 
to the Marshalsea on 13 April was still uninquired into. Somewhat 
earlier a Thomas Dutton was employed as a post between Edward Vi’s 
Council and Thomas Gresham in Antwerp, and was Gresham’s agent 
in Hamburg, c . 1571 (Burgon, Gresham, i. 109 ; ii. 421). It is easier 
again to conjecture than to prove a connexion between the actors and 
the house of Dutton of Dutton, which had a hereditary jurisdiction 
over minstrelsy in Cheshire (cf. ch. ix), although in this the names 
John and Laurence both appear. It is perhaps an accident that two 
of the recorded visits of the Queen’s men to Lord Derby’s northern seats 
in 1588-90 synchronize with visits by a Mr. Dutton (Murray, ii. 296). 
ECCLESTONE, WILLIAM, appears as a King’s man in the casts of 
The Alchemist (1610) and Catiline (1611). Mr. Fleay’s statement that 
he joined the company from the Queen’s Revels in 1609 rests upon a 
confusion with Field. 1 In 1611 he became a member of the Lady 
Elizabeth’s men, but left them in 1613 after playing in The Honest 
Man's Fortune during that year. He returned to the King’s, and his 
name is found in the official lists of the company for 1619 and 1621 
and in most of the casts of their plays, from Bonduca in 1613-14 to 
The Spanish Curate in 1622, as well as in the First Folio list of per- 
formers in Shakespeare’s plays. Nicholas Tooley forgave him a debt 


1 Fleay, 190 ; cf. The Sharers Papers . 



ACTORS 


315 


in his will of 3 June 1623. As he is not in the Caroline patent of 1625, 
he had probably died or retired by that date. He may be the W. E. 
who writes commendatory verses to The Wild-goose Chase in 1652. 
If he is also the 4 William Eglestone ’ whose marriage to Anne Jacob 
is recorded in the register of St. Saviour’s, Southwark, on 20 February 
1603, he lived to be an old man. 1 

EDMONDS, JOHN. Globe lessee, 1612 ; Chamber of Bristol, 1618-19. 
The St. Saviour’s registers record the marriage of a John Edmonds to 
Margaret Goody ere on 22 February 1600 and the baptism of children 
of John Edmonds, ‘ player’, from 6 January 1605 to 17 July 1615 
(B. 334). Probably the two are not identical and the player is the 
John Edmans who seems to have married his fellow-legatee, Mary 
Clarke, of the will of Thomas Pope (q.v.) in 1604. 

EDWARDES, RICHARD. Master of Chapel, 1561-6, and dramatist. 
EICHELIN. Germany, 1604. 

ELDERTON, WILLIAM. One Elderton, dressed as a fool, played 
the part of one of the Lord of Misrule’s sons in George Ferrers’s Christ- 
mas revel of 1552-3 (Feuillerat, Edw. and Mary , 120 ; cf. Mediaeval 
Stage , i. 407). Conjecture may identify him with the Elderton who 
brought the Eton boys to Court on 6 January 1573 and the William 
Elderton who brought the Westminster boys on 1 January 1574, and 
with the rhyming William Elderton, some of whose ballads are pre- 
served and reprinted in Collier, Old Ballads from Early Printed Copies 
(1842, Percy Soc .), 25, 45 ; H. Huth, Ancient Ballads and Broadsides 
(1867, Philohiblon Soc) ; and H. L. Collman, Ballads and Broadsides 
(1912, Roxburghe Club); or recorded, with ballads against him, in the 
Stationers’ Register (Arber, i. 179, 180, 181, 199, 384, 403, 439; 
ii. 338, 363, 369, 388, 396, 399 ; cf. v. lxxvi), while his 1 ale-crammed 
nose ’ and * rymes lying a steepe in ale ’ are subject for much humour 
among the pamphleteers (Lyly, iii. 398 ; Nashe, i. 197, 256, 280 ; iii. 
123, I 33> I 77^ 354)* Stowe ( Survey , i. 272) makes him an attorney 
in the sheriff’s courts at the Guildhall about 1568, but he can hardly 
be the ‘ master Elderton ’ who sat as a justice at the Guildhall in a 
coining case of 1562 (Machyn, 290). He appears to have been dead 
by 1592 (Harvey, i. 163 ; Nashe, i. 280). A recent paper on Elderton 
by H. E. Rollins is in S.P. xvii (1920), 199. 

ENGLISH, JOHN. Interluders, 1494-1531. 

EVANS, HENRY. Blackfriars lessee, 1583, 1600-8; payee for 
Oxford’s, 1584 ; manager of Chapel, 1600-3. He was a scrivener, and 
overseer to the will of Sebastian Westcott, Master of Paul’s, in 1582. 
EVANS, THOMAS. Blackfriars lessee, 1608. 

EVESEED, HENRY. Chapel, >1585. 

FARNABY, RICHARD. Musician in Germany, 1623. 

FARRANT, RICHARD. Master of Children of Windsor, 1564-80; 
Acting Master of Chapel and Blackfriars lessee, 1576-80. 
FERRABOSCO, ALFONSO. Italians, 1576, and Court musician 
(cf. ch. ii). 


1 Collier, iii. 457 ; Rendle, Bank side, xxvi. 



316 ACTORS 

FETHERSTON, WILLIAM. Of Danby, Yorks., unlicensed player, 
1612 (cf. ch. ix, p. 305). 

FIDGE, WILLIAM. H. R. Plomer (3 Library , ix. 252) cites from a 
Canterbury record of 1571, ‘ William Fidge and Whetstone owe the 
said [Robert] Bettes [a painter] for their portions in buying of certen 
playebookes 35 s. 4 d! 

FIELD, NATHAN, was the son of John Field, preacher and castigator 
of the stage (cf. App. C, No. xxxi), and was baptized at St. Giles's, 
Cripplegate, on 17 October 1587 (Collier, iii. 425). His name is always 
spelt Nathan in formal contemporary documents, although he was 
familiarly known as Nat or Nid. But he appears in many reputable 
modem works of learning as Nathaniel. This error perhaps originated 
with the compilers of the 1679 Folio of Beaumont and Fletcher, who 
in four out of the six actor-lists in which his name is found used the 
form Nathan and in two ( Loyal Subject and Mad Lover) Nathanael. 
It was certainly encouraged by a muddle of Collier, who finding in 
the Cripplegate registers that another son of John Field had been 
baptized Nathaniel on 13 June 1581, and not realizing that a cranky 
theological father might quite well use the names as distinct, thought 
it necessary to assume that this Nathaniel had died before 1587. As 
a matter of fact, he survived, was apprenticed to a stationer at Michael- 
mas 1596, took up his freedom on 3 June 1611, and between 1624 and 
1627 published some books, including two sermons by a third brother, 
Theophilus Field, Bishop of Llandaff (McKerrow, Diet. 101). I need 
hardly linger over the suggestion that Nathan Field lived a double 
life as actor and bookseller. At this time of the apprenticeship he was 
not yet nine years old, and he was still a scholar of St. Paul's Grammar 
School when, not earlier than 1600, he was impressed by Nathaniel Giles 
and his deputies to serve as one of the Children of the Chapel (Clifton 
v . Robinson in Fleay, 128). His education was not entirely inter- 
rupted, for he fell into the hands of Ben Jonson, who told Drummond 
in 1619 that ‘ Nid Field was his schollar, and he had read to him the 
Satyres of Horace, and some Epigrames of Martiall' (Laing, n). 
Field remained a member of the Chapel and the Queen's Revels 
throughout the vicissitudes of the company from 1600 to 1613. He is 
in the actor-lists of Cynthia! s Revels (1600), The Poetaster (1601), and 
Epicoene (1609), and presumably played Humfrey in K . B. P . (1607). 1 
With his fellows he became absorbed into the Lady Elizabeth's in 
March 1613, contracted with Henslowe and Meade on behalf of this 
company (Henslowe Papers , 23), acted as their payee in 1615, and 
appears in the actor-lists of The Coxcomb , The Honest Man’s Fortune , 
and Bartholomew Fair (1614), in the text of which Jonson compliments 
him (v. 3) as follows : 

Cokes. Which is your Burbage now ? 

Lanterne. What meane you by that. Sir ? 

Cokes. Your best Actor. Your Field ? 

He seems to have been suspected by the company of taking bribes 
from Henslowe to connive at transactions contrary to their interest 

1 K. B. P. i. 104, 4 Were you neuer none of Mr. Monkesters schollars ? * 



ACTORS 


317 


(Henslowe Papers , 88). Certainly he was in financial straits and on 
more than one occasion appealed to Henslowe to secure his release 
from an arrest (Henslowe Papers , 66, 67). Perhaps it was as a result 
of this friction with his fellows that he abandoned their amalgamation 
with Prince Charles’s men in 1615. Instead he joined, at or about this 
date, the King’s men, and appears as one in the actor-lists of The 
Loyal Subject , The Knight of Malta , The Queen of Corinth , and The Mad 
Lover . It must, I think, have been by a slip that Cuthbert Burbadge, 
in the Sharers Papers of 1635, spoke of him as joining the King’s with 
Ostler and Underwood in 1608 or 1609. It seems probable that Field 
brought with him to the King’s a share of the plays which had formed 
the repertory of the joint Lady Elizabeth’s and Queen’s Revels, 
including Chapman’s Bussy D'Ambois , in which a King’s prologue 
vaunts his success as Bussy. He did not stay with the company 
very long, for though he is in the patent of 27 March and the livery list 
of 19 May 1619, he is replaced by John Rice in the livery list of 7 April 
1621. And. as he does not appear and Rice does appear amongst the 
actors named in the stage-directions to Sir John von Olden Barnevelt 
in August 1619, it is probable that he had left in the course of the 
summer (M. L. R. iv. 395). If so, his departure synchronizes with a 
scandal which attached itself to his name. His moral character was 
hardly becoming to the son of a preacher. More than one manuscript 
commonplace book (e. g. Ashm. MS. 47, f. 49, which appears from the 
spelling of the name to be a late copy) contains an epigram with some 
such heading as On Nathaniell Feild suspected for too much familiarity 
with his M ris Lady May. And on 5 June 1619 Sir William Trumbull 
wrote from Brussels to Lord Hay (E. J. L. Scott in Athenaeum (1882), 
i. 103) that he was told that the Earl of Argyll had paid for the nursing 
of a child, ‘ which the world sayes is daughter to my lady and N. Feild 
the Player ’. Lady Argyll was Anne, daughter of Sir William Cornwallis 
of Brome. Field’s later life is obscure. There is an unimportant jest 
about him in John Taylor’s Wit and Mirth (1629). He was married 
to a wife Anne, and had children baptized and buried at St. Anne’s, 
Blackfriars, during 1619-25. If another epigram, printed by Collier, 
iii. 437, can be trusted, he very properly suffered from jealousy. 
In relevant register entries the name is given as Nathan. The Black- 
friars registers give children both of Nathan and of Nathaniel Field, 
and on 20 February 1633 occurs the burial of Nathaniel Field, whom, 
if the entry does not indicate that the confusion of persons had already 
begun, we are bound to take to be the bookseller. There is no reason 
why both brothers should not have resided in Blackfriars. 

Field was dramatist, as well as actor. In addition to the two plays 
published under his single name, he collaborated with Massinger in 
The Fatal Dowry , which was a King’s play and not likely, therefore, 
to fall outside the dates 1616-19. And as the Henslowe correspondence 
(Henslowe Papers , 65, 84) show him as collaborating also with Fletcher, 
Massinger, and Daborne for the Lady Elizabeth’s, he has been con- 
jectured as a possible sharer in the authorship of several of the plays 
of the Beaumont and Fletcher series. He also, about the time of his 



3 i8 ACTORS 

joining the Kang’s, wrote a defence of the stage, in the form of a 
remonstrance to Mr. Sutton, a preacher of St. Mary Overies (App. C, 
No. lxiii). A portrait of Field is at Dulwich. 

FLETCHER, LAWRENCE. Scotland, 1595, 1599, 1601 ; Admiral’s (?), 
1596 ; King’s, 1603. Although included as a King’s man in the royal 
patent, there is no reason to suppose that Fletcher ever joined 
the company acting at the Globe ; the absence of his name from 
the actor-list in the Shakespeare F 1 of 1623 is strong evidence that 
he did not. He lived in St. Saviour’s, where he had a homonym, a 
victualler, who survived him. One of the two is shown by the token- 
books as housed in Hunt’s Rents, Maid Lane, during 1605-7 ; probably 
this was the actor, who was buried on 12 September 1608. The 
description ‘ Lawrence Fletcher, a man : in the church ’ of the register 
is amplified in a fee-book to * Lawrence Fletcher, a player, the King’s 
servant, buried in the church, with an afternoon’s knell of the great 
bell, 205.’ (Collier, Memoirs of the Actors l , x ; Rendle, Bankside, xxvii). 
FLOWER. Admiral’s (?), c. 1600. 

FOSTER, ALEXANDER. Lady Elizabeth’s, 1611, 1618 ; Charles’s, 
1616. 

FREYERBOTT, BARTHOLOMEUS. Germany, 1615. 

FRITH, MOLL. It appears to be suggested in the Epilogue to The 
Roaring Girl (cf. ch. xxiii, s.v. Dekker) that this lady was to appear 
in person on the Fortune stage, c. 1610. 

FROST, JOHN. Chapel, 1601. 

GARLAND, JOHN. Queen’s, 1583, 1588 ; Lennox’s, 1605 ; Duke 
of York’s, 1610. He appears to have dwelt in 1605 at ‘ the ould forde ’ 
(H. ii. 267). 

GARLICK. In I. H., This World's Folly (1615), an actor of this name 
is apparently said to have personated himself on the Fortune stage, 
' behung with chaynes of Garlicke ’ (App. C, No. lix) ; cf. Dekker, 
If This be not a Good Play (1610-12), sc. x (ed. Pearson, iii. 325), 

* Fortune fauours no body but Garlicke, nor Garlike neither now, yet 
she has strong reason to loue it ; for tho Garlicke made her smell 
abhominably in the nostrills of the gallants, yet she had smelt and 
stuncke worse but for garlike ’ ; H. Parrot, Laquei Ridiculosi (1613), 
Epig. 131, 'Greene's TuQuoqne and those Garlicke Jigs’; in Tailor, 
Hog Hath Lost his Pearl (1614, ed. Dodsley 4 , p. 434), a jig will draw 
more whores ‘ than e’er Garlic had ’. 

GARRET, JOHN. Anne’s, 1619. 

GEDION. Admiral’s, 1602. 

‘ GERRY.’ King’s Revels, 1607. 

GEW. A blind player, referred to in 1 Ant, Mellida (1599), ind. 142, 
‘ ’t had been a right part for Proteus or Gew. Ho ! blind Gew would 
ha’ done ’t rarely, rarely ’ ; E. Guilpin, Skialetheia (1598), Sat. v, 

* One that for ape tricks can put Gue to schoole ’, and Epig. xi, ‘ Gue, 
hang thy selfe for woe, since gentlemen Are now grown cunning in thy 
apishness ’ ; Jonson, Epig. cxxix, * Thou dost out-zany Cokely, 
Pod ; nay, Gue.’ Pod was a puppet-showman. 

GIBBS. Admiral’s, 1602. 



ACTORS 


319 

GIBSON, RICHARD. Interludes, 1494-1508; afterwards Yeoman 
of the Revels. 

GILBURNE, SAMUEL, is recorded in the First Folio list of performers 
in Shakespeare’s plays. All that is known of him beyond this is that 
Augustine Phillips left him as his ‘ late apprentice ’ in his will of 1605 
the sum of 405., various garments, and a bass viol. Collier’s inference 
that he could play on the viol is a fairly harmless example of bio- 
graphical conjecture. 1 * The identification of him with the 4 b[oy ?] Sam ’ 
of the 4 plot ’ of The Dead Maris Fortune , a play probably belonging 
to the Admiral’s, and of a date not later than 1 591, is more dangerous. 2 
GILES, NATHANIEL. Master of Windsor Choir, 1595-1634 ; Master 
of Chapel, 1597-1634. 

GILES, THOMAS. Master of Paul’s, 1585-1590 < ; Instructor in 
Music to Henry, 1606, and Charles, 1613. 

GOODALE, BAPTISTE. 4 Ghost-name ’ (?) in Queen’s list (1589) 
forged by Collier, New Facts , ii. 

GOODALE, THOMAS. Berkeley’s, 1581 ; Strange’s (?), 1590-1 ; 
Chamberlain’s (?) at date of Sir Thomas More (cf. ch. xxiv). If he 
is the Thomas Goodale, mercer, who entered with John Alleyn and 
Robert Lee into a bond to Edward Alleyn on 18 May 1593 (H. ii. 295, 
from Dulwich MS. iv. 29), he was not improbably connected with 
the Admiral’s >1590. 

GOUGHE or GOFFE, ROBERT, was probably the 4 R. Go.’ entered 
in the * plot ’ of The Seven Deadly Sins , as playing Aspasia in Sloth for 
the Admiral’s or Strange’s men about 1 590-1. Probably he belonged 
at an early date to the King’s men. He is a legatee in Thomas Pope’s 
will of 22 July 1603, and witnessed that of Augustine Phillips on 
4 May 1605, in which Phillips names a sister Elizabeth Goughe, 

doubtless the Elizabeth recorded in the register of St. Saviour’s, 

Southwark, as marrying Robert Gough on 13 February 1603. The 
token-books of St. Saviour’s indicate Gough’s residence in Hill’s Rents 
during 1604, Samson’s Rents during 1605 and 1606, and Austin’s Rents 
in 1612-22 ; and the registers, which generally call him a 4 player ’, 
record his children Elizabeth (bapt. 30 May 1605), Nicholas (bapt. 
24 November 1608), Dorothy (bapt. 10 February 1611, bur. 12 January 
1613), Alexander (bapt. 7 August 1614), and his own burial on 19 Feb- 
ruary 1 624.® His son Alexander became in his turn a player. A stage- 
direction to 1 . 1723 of The Second Maiden 9 s Tragedy (1611) shows 
that he played Memphonius. He also played Leidenberch in Sir John 
von Olden Barnevelt in 1619, and appears in the official lists of the 
King’s men for 1619 and 1621 and in the First Folio list of performers 
in Shakespeare’s plays. 

GOUGHE, THOMAS. Lane’s, 1572. 

GRACE, FRANCIS. Henry ’s-Palsgrave’s, 1610-22. He lived at 
George Alley, Golden Lane, in 1623 (J. 347). 

GRAUNGER, JOHN. Chapel, 1509. 

1 Collier, iii. 41 1. * Fleay, 85 ; Greg, Henslowe Papers , 133. 

* Collier, iii. 473 ; Rendle, Bankside , xxvii. 



320 


ACTORS 


GREAVES, JOHN. Lane’s, 1572. 

GREEN, JOHN. Germany, 1608 ; France, >1608 ; Holland, 
1613; Germany, 1615-20, 1626. On his verses and portrait, 1608, 
cf. eh. xxiv, s.v. Nobody and Somebody . He may have been brother 
of the following. 

GREENE, THOMAS. Anne’s, 1604-12. In R. Braithwaite, Remains 
after Death (1618) are four epigrams on him, one of which says that 
he ‘ new come from sea, made but one face and dide ’. A couplet 
on his death, signed W. R., is in Cooke’s Greene’s Tu Quoque. I. H., 
World’s Folly (1615), mentions his performance of a baboon (cf. 
App. C, No. lix). He was of St. James’s, Clerkenwell, in 1612, when he 
made his will (Fleay, 192), naming his wife Susan, daughter Honor, 
sons-in-law (i.e. stepsons) Robert and William Browne, daughters- 
in-law Susanna, Elizabeth, and Anne Browne, brothers John and 
Jeffery Greene, and sister Elizabeth Barrett. A conjecture that he 
was of Stratford origin has no foundation (Lee, 54). 

GREUM, HENRY. Germany, 1608. 

GRIFFEN. Admiral’s, 1597. 

GRIGORIE, JACK. Admiral’s, 1602. 

GRYMES, THOMAS. Chapel, 1600-1. 

GUNNELL, RICHARD. Palsgrave’s, 1613-22. Family notes appear 
in the registers of St. Giles’s, 1614-30 (B. 409). 

GYLLOME, FOKE. Player (?) to Alexander Houghton, 1581 (cf. 
ch. ix, p. 280). 

GYRKE, RICHARD. A London player in 1550 (App. D, No. v). 
HALLAWAIE, ‘ the younger ’. Paul’s, 1580. 

HAMLEN (HAMLETT), ROBERT. Lady Elizabeth’s, 1611-13; 
Charles’s, 1616, 1625. 

HAMMOND, JOHN. Interludes, 1494. 

HAMOND. Worcester’s, 1565. 

HARRISON, JOHN. A 4 player ’ whose daughter Suzanna by wife 
Anne was baptized at St. Helen’s on 10 January 1602. 

HARRISON, WILLIAM. Worcester’s, 1583. 

HARVEY. Chamberlain’s, 1597. 

HAWKINS, ALEXANDER. Blackfriars lessee, 1601 ; Revels 
patentee, 1604. 

HAYNE, WILLIAM. Head Master of Merchant Taylors’, 1599-1625. 
HAYSELL, GEORGE. Worcester’s, 1583. For* a possible notice of 
the same man, cf. ch. xxiv, s.v. Misogonus. 

HEARNE, THOMAS. Admiral’s, 1597. 

HELLE, JOHN. Admiral’s,, 1597. 

HEMINGES, JOHN, whose name is variously spelt, appearing, for 
example, as 4 Heminge ’ in his signature to the dedication of the First 
Folio of Shakespeare’s plays, and as * Hemmings ’ in the actor-list in 
the same volume, is known to have had a wife Rebecca, and may 
fairly be identified with the 4 John Hemminge, gent.’ of St. Mary 
Comhill, who was married on 10 March 1588 to Rebecca Knell, widow, 
relict of William Knell, gent., late of St. Mary Aldermanbury. In 
the same parish William Knell had married Rebecca Edwards on 



ACTORS 


321 


30 January 1586, and an older William Knell had been buried on 
24 September 1578. 1 One of these was not improbably the early actor 
celebrated by Heywood. Malone found a family of Heming at 
Shottery, and conjectured that of this family John was bom at some 
date earlier than the opening of the Stratford-on-Avon register in 
1558. 2 But this is rendered improbable by a confirmation of arms in 
1629 to ' John Hemings of London Gent, of long tyme Servant to 
Queen Elizabeth of happie Memory, also to King James hir Royal 
Successor and to King Charles his Sonne ’, in which he is described as 
* Sonne and Heire of George Hemings of Draytwiche in the Countye 
of Worcester Gent/ 3 There seems little reason to doubt that this 
John Hemings is the player. He very probably began his theatrical 
career with the Queen’s company, to which also Knell had belonged. 
By May 1593, however, he had joined Strange’s men, from whom he 
passed to the Chamberlain’s men, probably on the original formation 
in 1594. Of this company, afterwards the King’s men, he remained 
a member to the end of his career. He appears in all the official lists 
of the company up to 1629, and regularly acted as their payee for 
Court performances, generally with a colleague from 1596 to 1601, and 
thereafter alone. This and his prominence in the negotiations of the 
company and the law-suits arising out of them, suggest that he acted 
as their business manager. As an actor he appears in all the casts up 
to Catiline in 1611, but not thereafter ; possibly he may have resigned 
acting, and devoted himself to business. The unreliable John Roberts, 
Answer to Pope (1729), conjectures that he was a ‘ tragedian ’. Malone 
had seen a statement in some tract of which he had forgotten the title, 
that he was the original performer of Falstaff. 4 The lines on the 
burning of the Globe in 1613 thus describe him : 

Then with swolne eyes, like druncken Flemminges, 

Distressed stood old stuttering Heminges. 

He is ' old Master Hemings ’ in Jonson’s Masque of Christmas (1616). 
He lent his * boy ’ John Rice (q.v.) to the Merchant Taylors for their 
entertainment of James on 16 July 1607, and another * boy ’ for 
Chapman’s mask of 1613. He is named as a legatee and overseer in 
the will of Augustine Phillips in 1605, and as executor in the event of 
the widow’s re-marriage ; also as a trustee in the will of Alexander 
Cooke, who calls him his ‘ master ’, in 1614 ; as a witness in that of 
Richard Cowley in 1618 ; as a legatee in that of Shakespeare in 1616 ; 
and as a legatee and overseer in those of Underwood in 1624 and of 
Condell in 1627. He was appointed a trustee for Shakespeare’s 
Blackfriars property in 16 13, 5 and acted with Condell as editor of the 
First Folio of the plays in 1623. This fact is probably the origin of 
the statement of Roberts that he was engaged with Condell in business 
as a printer. He filled various parochial posts from 1608 to 1619 in 
St. Mary’s, Aldermanbury, and the registers contain records of the 

1 Variorum , iii. 472 ; Chester, London Marriage Licenses . 

* Variorum , iii. 187. 8 Ibid. 18 8. 

4 Ibid. 187. 8 Halliwell-Pftillipps, i. 3r. 

2229*2 


Y 



%22 


ACTORS 


following children : Alice (bapt. io November 1590, married John 
Atkins 11 February 1612), Mary (bapt. 26 May 1592, bur. 9 August 
1592), Judith (bapt. 29 August 1593), Thomasine (bapt. 15 January 
1595), Joan (bapt. 2 May 1596), John (bapt. 12 August 1599), Beavis 
(bapt. 24 May 1601), William (bapt. 3 October 1602), George (bapt. 
12 Feb. 1604), Rebecca (bapt. 4 February 1605), Elizabeth (bapt. 
6 March 1608), Mary (bapt. 21 June 1611, bur. 23 July 1611). 1 In 
the same parish * John Heminge, player ’ was himself buried on 
12 October 1630, beside his wife Rebecca, who preceded him on 
2 September 1619. He is registered as a ' stranger ’, and was therefore 
probably residing elsewhere. In his will, made on 9 October, he 
describes himself as * citizen and grocer of London ’, appoints his son 
William executor and trustee for his unmarried and unadvanced 
children, and Cuthbert Burbadge and * Mr. Rice ’, possibly the actor, 
overseers, and leaves legacies to his daughters Rebecca, wife of Captain 
William Smith, Margaret, wife of Mr. Thomas Sheppard, who is not 
mentioned in the register, Elizabeth, and Mrs. Merefield, and to his 
son-in-law Atkins 4 and his now wife ’, and his grandchild Richard 
Atkins. He also leaves 10s. for a ring * unto every of my fellows and 
sharers, his majesties servants. 2 William Heminges went to West- 
minster and Christ Church, and became a playwright. 3 Unnamed in 
the will is Thomasine, who may have been dead, but certainly had 
quarrelled seriously with her father. She had married William Ostler 
of the King’s men in 1611 and her son Beaumont was baptized at 
St. Mary’s, Aldermanbury, on 18 May 1612. Ostler died intestate on 
16 December 1614 in possession of shares in the leases both of the 
Globe and the Blackfriars. These passed of right to Thomasine as 
his administratrix, and formed all the provision left for her maintenance 
and her husband’s debts. The leases, however, passed into the hands 
of Heminges, who retained them and asserted that Ostler had created 
a trust, of which Thomasine declared that she knew nothing. On 
20 September 1615 she entered a bill in Chancery against her father, 
and subpoenaed him to appear during the coming Michaelmas term. 
On 26 September Heminges promised that if she would withdraw her 
suit, and would also * doe her dutie ’ to him and to her mother Rebecca, 
he would satisfy her to the value of the shares. Thomasine states that 
on the same day kneeling and in tears she made her submission at her 
father’s house in Aldermanbury. She also stayed her suit, but Hem- 
inges, although called upon to fulfil his promise on 5 October, failed to 
do so, and on 9 October Thomasine brought a common law action 
against him for damages to the amount of £600, which she estimated 
to be the value of the shares. 4 The issue of the case is unknown, but 
it would seem probable from the Sharers Papers of 1635 that Heminges 
succeeded in retaining the shares, and that at his death they passed 

1 Variorum , iii. 198, 475; Collier, iii. 308; P. C. Carter, St, Mary f 
Aldermanbury , 11, 58, 86, 87. Malone misread Beavis as Beatrice. An 
earlier John (1598) and a Swynnerton (1613) died as infants. 

* Variorum, iii. 191. 8 D. N. B. s.v. ; Wood, Athenae , iii. 277. 

4 O. v . H. 16 ; cf. C. W. Wallace, in The Times for 2 and 4 Oct. 1909. 



ACTORS 


3*3 


to his son William. Professor Wallace states that in 1616 Thomasine 
Ostler was involved in another law-suit with Walter Raleigh, son of 
Sir Walter, and obtained a verdict of £250 against him for insult and 
slander. One way and another, Heminges seems to have acquired a 
considerable financial interest in the Globe and Blackfriars. He had 
an original seventh of a moiety of the Globe lease in 1599, and an 
original se.venth of the Blackfriars lease in 1608. But as executor to 
Phillips (q.v.) and otherwise he had opportunities of adding to these 
holdings. The Sharers Papers show that at his death he had four 
sixteenths of the Globe and probably two eighths of the Blackfriars ; 
and these, or some of them, he had enjoyed ' thirty yeeres without 
any molestacion, beeing the most of the sayd yeeres both player and 
houskeeper, and after hee gave over playing diverse yeeres \ In 
Witter v. Heminges and Condell he is described as being in 1619 of 
* greate lyveinge wealth and power , . 1 The playhouse shares seem to 
have been the chief part of the property left by his will. They passed 
to William Heminges as his executor. He seems to have gradually 
disposed of them, first selling one share in the Globe by arrangement 
with the company to Taylor and Lowin, and later, by transactions 
which some of his fellows resented, one share in each house to John 
Shank during 1633 f° r £156, and the remaining shares also to John 
Shank during 1634, for £350. He was then in difficulties, and Shank 
disbursed additional small sums to him in prison. It was these sales 
to Shank which brought about the petition to the Lord Chamberlain 
recorded in the Sharers Papers. 

HENSLOWE, FRANCIS. Queen’s, 1594 ; Lennox’s, 1605. He was 
son of Richard and nephew of Philip Henslowe, and various entries in 
the diary and other Dulwich MSS. record his imprisonments, more 
than once on criminal charges, his employment during 1593-4 in his 
uncle’s pawnbroking, and his loans, one of which on 1 June 1595 was 
of £9 * to laye downe for his hallfe share with the company which he 
dothe playe with all ’ (H. i. 6), conceivably, as Dr. Greg suggests, some 
company other than the Queen’s, in which he had already acquired a 
half share in 1594. He dwelt in the Clink in 1594, took a house called 
the Upper Ground on Bankside in 1597, and was of St. George’s, 
Southwark, in 1606, in which year, between 30 March and 6 October, 
both he and his wife died (H. ii. 277). 

HENSLOWE, PHILIP. Owner of Rose, Fortune, Hope, and perhaps 
lessee of Whitefriars ; cf. ch. xi. 

HERIOT, HENRY. Interluders, 1547-52. 

HEYWOOD, JOHN. For his possible connexion with Paul’s, cf. 
ch. xii, s.v. Chapel. 

HEYWOOD, THOMAS. Admiral’s, 1598 ; Worcester’s Anne’s, 
1602-19, and dramatist. 

HINSTOCK, ROBERT. Interluders, 1538-51. 

HOBBES, THOMAS. Charles’s, 1610, 1616-25. He lived at the upper 
end of Shoreditch in 1623 (J. 348). 


1 N. U. S. x. 31 1. 
Y 2 



' 3*4 


ACTORS 


HOLE, RICHARD. Interludes, 1526-30. 

HOLLAND, J. Strange’s (?), 1590-1. 

HOLT, JAMES. Anne’s, 1604-19. 

HOLT, JOHN. A ‘ momer ’, who helped the Westminster boys in 
1561, probably identical with the Yeoman of the Revels of that name 
(cf. ch. iii), who helped them in 1564-5. 

HOLZHEW, BEHRENDT. Germany, 1614-15. 

HOVELL, WILLIAM. Licensee for 2 King’s Revels, 1615. 
HOWARD, THOMAS. A * player ’ named in St. Saviour’s records 
c. 1600 (Rendle, Bank side, xxvi). 

HUDSON, RICHARD. Weaver of Hutton Bushell, Yorks, unlicensed 
player, 1612 (cf. ch. ix, p. 305). 

HOLL, JOHN. Germany, 1600-1. 

HUNNIS, JOHN. A * ghost-name ’ by an error for the following. 
HUNNIS, WILLIAM. Master of Chapel, 1566-97, and dramatist. 
HUNT (HONTE), THOMAS. Admiral’s, 1599, 1602 ; Lady Elizabeth’s, 
1611 (H. ii. 285). 

HUNTLEY, DICK. Actor in Summer's Last Will and Testament 
(vide 1. 14). 

HUSE, RICHARD. Paul’s chorister, >1582. 

IVY, NICHOLAS. Chapel, 1509. 

JEFFES, ANTHONY. Chamberlain’s (?), 1597 ; Pembroke’s, 1597 ; 
Admjral’s-Henry’s, i597->i6i3. Anthony, son of Richard Jeffes, 
baptized at St. Saviour’s, Southwark, on 14 December 1578, may be 
the same who married Faith Jones there on 19 February 1601. 
Children of Anthony Jeffes * player ’ are recorded in the registers of 
St. Giles’s, Cripplegate, from 11 June 1602 to 1 May 1609 ; in later 
entries from 30 May 1610 to 30 October 1616, Anthony is called 
4 brewer ’ (H. ii. 286 ; Bodl). 

JEFFES, HUMPHREY. Chamberlain’s (?), 1597 ; Pembroke’s, 
1597 ; Admiral’s-Henry’s-Palsgrave’s, i597-i6i 6<. He was buried 
at St. Giles’s, 21 August 1618. A daughter Mary was baptized at 
St. Saviour’s, 25 January 1601 (H. ii. 287 ; Collier, Actors , xxx). 
JOHNSON, WILLIAM. Leicester’s, 1572-4 ; Queen’s, 1583, 1587-8. 
The baptismal entries at St. Giles’s include on 10 February 1587 
‘ Comedia, base-borne daughter of Alice Bowker, and, as she saithe, 
the father’s name is William Johnson, one of the Queen’s plaiers ’, 
and the burials on 3 March 1593 * Comedia, daughter of William John- 
son, player ’. Is he the William Johnson, vintner, who was trustee of 
Shakespeare’s Blackfriars property 1613-18 (Lee, 459, 493) ? 

JONES, RICHARD. Worcester’s, 1583; Admiral’s (?), >1589; 
Germany, 1592-3 ; Admiral’s, 1594-6 ; Pembroke’s, 1597 ; Admiral’s, 
i 597"" i 6o 2 ; Revels patentee, 1610 ; Germany (?), 1615 ; Germany, 
1620, 1622-4. His wife Harris inherited a lease of the Leopard’s Head 
in Shoreditch from her father in 1620. A Richard Jones is traceable 
in the Southwark token-books from 1588 to 1607 and may or may not 
be the same who married Anne Jube there on 14 February 1602 (H. ii. 
288 ; H . P. 94 ; Bodl). 

JONES, ROBERT. Germany, 1602 ; Porter’s Hall patentee, 1615. 



ACTORS 


3*5 


JONNS, DANIEL. Denmark, 1586. 

JONSON, BENJAMIN. Pembroke's (?), 1597 ; Chamberlain's (?), 
c. 1598 ; and dramatist. 

JUBY, EDWARD. Admiral’s-Henry’s-Palsgrave’s, 1 594-1618, 
Fortune lessee, 1618. An Edward Juby is traceable during 1598 to 
1619 in the token-books of St. Saviour’s, Southwark. In the last year 
he is marked * dead ’, and his burial was registered on 20 November 
1618. In 1610 and 1614 he filled parish offices. He may fairly be 
identified with the 1 player ’ whose children occur in the registers from 
3 June 1599 to 15 September 1614. His widow Francis held his share 
of the Fortune lease in 1622 (H. ii. 290 ; Rendle, Bankside, xxvi ; 
Bodl .). 

JUBY, RICHARD. Admiral’s, 1602. His son Richard was baptized 
at St. Saviour’s, Southwark, on 1 May 1602 (Bodl.). 

JUBY, WILLIAM (?). Admiral’s, 1599-1602 (H. ii. 290). 

JUGLER, RICHARD. A London player in 1550 (cf. App. D, No. v). 
KEMP, JOHN. Germany, 1601. 

KEMPE, WILLIAM, cannot be securely identified or connected with 
any one of various homonyms who have been traced in D . N. B . and 
elsewhere. 1 He probably emerges as one of Leicester’s men in the 
Low Countries during 1585-6 and thence made his way to Denmark. 
He was in London and had already won a comic reputation by 1 590 
when the dedication of An Almond for a Parrat (Nashe, iii. 341), ‘To 
that most Comicall and conceited Caualeire Monsieur du Kempe, Jest- 
monger and Vice-gerent generall to the Ghost of Dicke Tarlton,’ tells 
how the anonymous author, possibly Nashe, had been asked by 1 that 
famous Francatrip’ Harlicken ’ at Bergamo in the previous summer, 
whether he knew ‘ any such Parabolano here in London as Signior 
Chiarlatano Kempino ’ of whose * pleasance ’ Harlicken had heard 

* report ’. In Four Letters Confuted (1592) Nashe says of an action of 
Harvey’s, ‘ Will Kempe, I mistrust it will fall to thy lot for a merriment, 
one of these dayes ’ (i. 287). An example of Kempe’s merriments is 
to be found in sc. xii of A Knack to Know a Knave (1594) played by 
Strange’s men, to whom Kempe belonged by 1593. He was also 
famous for his jigs. Four of these are entered in the Stationers’ 
Register during 1591-5 (cf. ch. xviii) but are not preserved, and 

* Kemps jiggs ’ is the heading to some music collected by John Dow- 
land and preserved in Camb. Univ. Libr . MS. Dd. ii. 11 (cf. Halliwell, 
MS . Rarities , 8). Marston (iii. 372), Scourge of Villainy (1598), 
sat. xi. 30, 1 the orbs celestial Will dance Kempe’s jig,’ and E. Guilpin, 
Skialetheia (1598), sat. v, * Whores, bedles, bawdes,and sergeants filthily 
Chaunt Kemps Jigge, or the Burgonians tragedy,’ show his vogue. 

1 Kemps Nine Dales Wonder. Performed in a Daunce from London to 

Norwich (1600) is reprinted with a biography by A. Dyce (1840, Camden 

Soc.) and in Arber, English Garner 2 * , ii (Social England) , 139, and E. Gold- 
smid, Collectanea Adamantea, ii (1884). Dissertations are J. Bruce, Who 
was 4 Will , my Lord of Ley cester’s Jesting Player * ? (1844, Sh. Soc . Papers , 
i. 88) ; B. Nicholson, Kemp and the Play of Hamlet (N. S. 5 . Trans. 1 880-6 t 

57) ; Will Kemp (1887, Sh.-Jahrbuch, xxii. 255). 



3*6 


ACTORS 


In 1594-5 he was one of the recently constituted Chamberlain’s men 
and the intrusion of his name into stage-directions to R.J, iv. 5. 102 
(Qa) and M, Ado, iv. 2, shows that he played Peter in the one play and 
Dogberry in the other. Oddly ^enough, one of his speeches (iv. 2. 4) 
in M, Ado is assigned to 4 Andrew possibly a generic name for 
a clown or * merry-Andrew \ He is in the actor-list of Every Man in 
his Humour (1598) but not in that of Every Man out of his Humour 
(1599), and this fact, together with his sale of his share in the Globe 
soon after the lease of 21 February 1599 was signed, points to his 
leaving the company. * Would I had one of Kemps shooes to throw 
after you,’ says a speaker in E. M. 0 . iv. v (q.v.). This may be an 
allusion to some clownery by Kempe, perhaps in a performance with 
some other company at the Curtain in the autumn of 1599 after the 
Chamberlain’s left that house ; or, less probably, to Kempe’s famous 
morris-dance for a wager from London to Norwich, at the end of which 
he hung his buskins in the Guildhall, for this began on n February 1600 
and ended on n March, the year being fixed by the mayoralty (1 599— 
1600) of Roger Weld at Norwich. Another allusion to 4 Kemps 
morice ’ is in Jack Drum y s Entertainment (1600), i. 45. Dudley Carle- 
ton wrote to John Chamberlain on 13 October 1600 ( S . P. D . Eliz, 
cclxxv. 93) that on his way from Witham to Englefield 4 we met a 
company of mad wenches, whereof M rB . Mary Wroughton and young 
Stafford were ringleaders, who travelled from house to house, and to 
some places where they were little known, attended with a concert of 
musicians, as if they had undertaken the like adventure as Kemp did 
from London to Norwich ’. Kempe’s own account of his adventure 
was entered in the Stationers’ Register as 4 Kemps morris to Norwiche ’ 
on 22 April 1600 (Arber, iii. 160). In the Epistle to Anne Fitton, whom, 
possibly by confusion with her sister Mary, he describes as maid of 
honour to Elizabeth, he refers to unentered ballads on the subject, 
and when he says that 4 1 haue daunst my selfe out of the world ’ is 
not improbably jesting on his departure from the Globe. At the end 
he foreshadows crossing to Calais, which he no doubt did. A John 
Kemp, who was in charge of a touring company, which had been in 
Holland and reached Munster by November 1601, may have been a 
relative. But William Kempe had returned to England, after visiting 
Italy as well as Germany, on 2 September 1601, as is shown by the 
following interpolation in a diary of one William Smith of Abingdon, 
in Sloane MS, 414, f. 56 (wrongly cited by Halliwell, Ludus Coventriae 
410, as Sloane MS, 392, f. 401 ; cf. F. J. Furnivall in N. S. S. Trans. 
1880-6 , 65) : 

* Sep. 2. Kemp, mimus quidam, qui peregrinationem quandam in 
Germaniam et Italiam instituerat, post multos errores, et infortunia sua, 
reversus : multa refert de Anthonio Sherley, equite aurato, quem Romae 
(legatum Persicum agentem) convenerat.' 

Possibly Kempe rejoined the Chamberlain’s for a while. In 3 Parnassus 
(? January 1602), iv. 3, he is introduced as a fellow of Burbadge and 
Shakespeare, and greeted with allusions to his 4 dancing the morrice 
ouer the Alpes ’ and 4 the Emperour of Germany ’. But on 10 March 



ACTORS 


327 


1602 he had a loan from Henslowe, and during the winter of 1602-3 
he was certainly one of Worcester’s men. The dates do not lend 
support to the suggestion of Fleay, ii. 20, that he had already in 1599- 
1600 been at the Rose with Pembroke’s men. After the end of Eliza- 
beth’s reign he is not traceable, and he is mentioned as dead in Hey- 
wood, Apology (c. 1608), and dead or retired in Dekker, Gull’s Hornbook 
(1609), 11, * Tarlton, Kemp, nor Singer, nor all the litter of fools that 
now come drawling behind them, never played the clown more 
naturally.’ A William Kempe is recorded in token-books of St. 
Saviour’s, Southwark, as living in Samson’s Rents in 1595, 1596, 1598, 
and 1599, in Langley’s New Rents in 1602, and later near the old play- 
house (Collier, iii. 351, and Bodl. ; Rendle, Bankside , xxvi). Collier, 
but not Rendle, gives the date * 1605 ’ for the last entry, probably 
with a view to supporting his notice of Kempe, as playing with Armin 
at the Blackfriars (q.v.) in 1605, which is doubtless a fabrication. On 
the other hand, though the date is plausible, the notice of * Kempe 
a man ’ as buried at St. Saviour’s on 2 November 1603 (Rendle, xxvii) 
is not so worded as to be absolutely conclusive. The name was a 
common one, and Collier, Actors , xxxvi, gives notices of it from other 
parishes. In T. Weelkes, Ayres on Phantasticke Sprites (1608), it is 
said of Kempe that ‘ into France He took pains to skip it ’. His visit 
to Venice and meeting with Sherley are dramatized in Travels of Three 
English Brothers (1607) and apparently misdated after the Englands Joy 
of November 1602. Finally, an epitaph upon him is in R. Braithwaite, 
Remains after Death (1618), sig. f 8 v , which suggests that he died not 
long after his morris. 

KENDALL, THOMAS. Blackfriars manager, 1602 ; Revels patentee, 
1604. He died in 1608. 

KENDALL, WILLIAM. Admiral’s, 1597-8 ; Henry ’s-Palsgrave’s, 
>1614. His son John was baptized at St. Saviour’s, Southwark, on 
5 January 1615 [Bodl). 

KEYSAR, ROBERT. Revels manager, 1606-10 (?) ; Blackfriars 
lessee, 1606-8. To him was written the epistle to K. £. P . 

KING, ARTHUR. Berkeley’s, 1581. 

KING, THOMAS. Denmark-Germany, 1586-7. 

KINGMAN (KINGSMAN), PHILIP. Germany, 1596 ; Porter’s Hall 
patentee, 1615. ‘ M r Kyngman the elder ’ was a witness for 

Henslowe on 16 April 1599 (H. i. 205). 

KINGSMAN, ROBERT. Germany, 1599, 1601 ; afterwards a trades- 
man in Strassburg, 1606 (?), 1618, 1626. 

KIRCK (KIRCKMANN), JOHN. Denmark, 1579-80. 

KIRKHAM, EDWARD. Chapel manager, 1602 ; Revels patentee, 
1604-6. He is probably the Yeoman of the Revels (cf. ch. iii). 
KITE, JOHN. Gentleman of Chapel, 1508; afterwards Abp. of 
Armagh. 

KNAGGES, RICHARD. Of Moorsham, Yorks, unlicensed player, 
1612 (cf. ch. ix, p. 305). 

KNELL, WILLIAM (?). Queen’s, >1588. A Rebecca, widow of 
William Knell, married John Heminges (q.v.), 10 March 1588. 



328 


ACTORS 


Heywood notes Knell as before his time. Nashe, Pierce Pentlesse 
(1592, Works, i. 215), names him with Tarlton, Alleyn, and Bentley, 
and he is coupled with Bentley in the undated challenge to Alleyn 
(q.v.) to play one of their parts. 

KNIGHT, ROBERT. Paul’s chorister, >1582. 

KOSTRESSEN, JOHAN, musician. Germany, 1623. 

KRAFFT, JOHN. Denmark, 1579-80. 

LANEHAM, JOHN. Leicester’s, 1572-4 ; Queen’s, 1583, 1588-91. 
Heywood notes him as before his time. Was he related to Robert 
Laneham, Keeper of the Council Chamber door, who described the 
Kenilworth entertainment (cf. ch. xxiv) in 1575 ? 

LANMAN, HENRY. Owner of Curtain, 1581-92. Adams, 80, suggests, 
apparently from the similarity of the names, that he was a brother of 
John Laneham. 

LEBERWURST, HANS. Germany, 1613. 

LEDBETTER, ROBERT. Admiral’s, 1597 ; Germany, 1599, 1601, 
1606. 

LEE, ROBERT. Admiral’s (?), >1591; Anne’s, 1604-19; Revels 
Company, 1622. He had a business transaction with Edward and 
John Alleyn and Thomas Goodale (q.v.) in 1593. He lived in Clerken- 
well Close in 1623 (H. ii. 294 ; J. 347 ; Murray, i. 198). 

LEEKE, DAVID. Possibly an actor at Canterbury, c. 1571 (3 Library , 
ix- 253)- 

LEVESON, ROBERT. Oxford’s, 1580. 

LISTER, EDWARD. Weaver of Allerston, Yorks, unlicensed player, 
1612 (cf. ch. ix, p. 305). 

LONG, NICHOLAS. Revels (provincial) manager, 1612, 1617 ; Lady 
Elizabeth’s, 1614-15. For his later career, cf. Murray, i. 192, 361 ; 
ii. 101. He was buried at St. Giles’s, Cripplegate, on 21 January 1622 
(BodL). 

LOVEKYN, ARTHUR. Chapel, 1509-13. 

LOWIN, JOHN, was a member of Worcester’s company during their 
season of 1602-3 with Henslowe at the Rose. On 12 March 1603 
Henslowe lent him money to go into the country with the company, 
but during the course of the year he must have transferred his services 
to the King’s men, presumably as a hireling, since, although in the 
cast of Sejanus (1603) and the Induction to Malcontent (1604) he is 
not in the official lists of 1603 and 1604. A portrait of him in the 
Ashmolean Museum at Oxford, has the inscription ‘ 1640, Aetat. 64 ’, 
and he may therefore be identified with the John, son of Richard Lowen, 
baptized at St. Giles’s, Cripplegate, on 9 December 1576. If so, his 
father seems to have been a carpenter, and he had a sister Susan and 
a brother William. 1 He remained through a long life with the King’s 
men, appearing in most of the casts, in the actor-list of the First Folio, 
and in the official lists from 1619 onwards. He played Bosola in The 
Duchess of Malfi . A pamphlet entitled Conclusions upon Dances (1607) 
has a dedication to Lord Denny, dated 23 November 1606, and signed 


1 Collier, lii. 391. 



ACTORS 


3*9 


* I. L. Roscip \ Collier claims to have found in a copy of this the note 

* By Jhon Lowin. Witnesseth Tho. D. 1610 \ 1 A John Lowen married 
Joan Hall, widow, by licence, in St. Botolph’s, Bishopsgate, on 29 Octo- 
ber 1 607. 2 * Shortly afterwards a John Lowin was paying a poor-rate 
of 2 d. weekly in the liberty of the Clink. The Southwark token-books 
attest his residence * near the playhouse 9 and in other parts of the parish 
at various dates from 1601 to 1642. 8 He was overseer of Paris Garden 
in 1617-18. 4 But in 1623 he lived in Lambeth (J. 348). He is named 
as a legatee and overseer in the will of his ‘ fellow 9 John Underwood 
in 1624. It appears from the Sharers Papers that he had no interest 
in the play-houses until after the death of Heminges in 1630, when he 
was admitted to purchase two sixteenths of the Globe and one eighth 
of the Blackfriars. From this time onwards he seems to have shared 
the business responsibilities of the company with Joseph Taylor. He 
was also prominent as an actor. 5 Wright enumerates amongst his 
parts Shakespeare’s Falstaff ; but when Roberts adds Hamlet and 
Henry VIII, he is presumably guessing that Lowin was * fat and 
scant of breath \ He may have been the original Henry VIII, for 
Downes reports that Betterton was instructed in the part by Sir 
William Davenant, * who had it from old Mr. Lowen, that had his 
instructions from Mr. Shakespeare himself ’. 6 Wright tells us that at 
the outbreak of civil war he was ‘ superannuated ’, and 1 in his latter 
days kept an inn (the Three Pigeons) at Brentford, where he dyed 
very old (for he was an actor of eminent note in the reign of King James 
the First), and his poverty was as great as his age \ 7 He signed with 
Taylor the dedication to Fletcher’s The Wild-goose Chase in 1652, the 
publication of which was an attempt to relieve their necessities. A 
* John Lewin ’ who left a widow Martha, was buried at St. Martin’s-in- 
the-Fields on 18 March 1659, and a * John Lowen ’ at St. Paul’s, 
Covent Garden, on 16 March 1669. 8 Probably a G. Lowin who played 
Bamaveldt’s daughter to Lowin’s Bamaveldt in 1619 was his son. 
LYLY, JOHN. Blackfriars lessee, 1583 ; Oxford’s payee, 1584 ; and 
dramatist. 

MACHIN, RICHARD. Germany, 1600-3, 1605-6. 

MAGETT, STEPHEN. Admiral’s tireman, 1596, 1599 (?) (H. ii. 295). 
MARBECK, THOMAS. Admiral’s, 1602. 

MARSHALL, CHARLES. Palsgrave’s (provincial), 1616. 
MARSTON, JOHN. Blackfriars lessee, 1603-8, and dramatist. 
MARTINELLI (?), ANGELICA. Italians, >1598. 

MARTINELLI, DRUSIANO. Italians, 1578. 

MARTON, THOMAS. Chapel, 1602. 

MARTYN, WILLIAM. Payee for a company at Ipswich, 20 February 
1572 (Murray, ii. 290). 

1 Ibid. 395. 2 Ibid. 39^. 

3 Ibid. 397 ; Bodl, ; Rendle, Bankside t xxvi. 

4 Norman, 91. 

6 For further details of his later career, cf. Collier and D. N. B. 

0 Downes, 24. 7 Wright, 10. 

8 Vanorum, iii. 21 1 ; Collier, iii 403. 



330 , 


ACTORS 


MASON, JOHN. Whitefriars lessee, 1608, and dramatist. 

MASSEY (MASSYE), CHARLES. Admiral’s-Henry’s-Palsgrave’s, 
I S 97"*> I ^35 (?) > Fortune lessee, i6i8->i 635 ; and dramatist (cf. 
ch. xxiii). He is probably the Charles Marcy or Mercy, variously 
described as ‘ player ’, * gentleman ’, and ' yeoman ’ in the registers 
of St. Giles’s, Cripplegate, from 30 December 1610 to 20 July 1625. 
He died before 6 December 1635, leaving a widow Elianor, and had a 
cousin Ned Collins (H. ii. 296 ; Bodl .). 

MAXE, ROBERT. Chapel, iS09->i5i3. 

MAY, EDWARD. Interluders, 1494-1503. 

MAY, NATHAN. Licensee for 2 King’s Revels, 1615. Possibly the 
name, as given in Murray, ii. 340, may be a mistake for Clay (q.v.). 
MAYLER, GEORGE. Interluders, 1525-40. 

MEADE, JACOB. Keeper of the Bears, by 1599, and partner with 
Henslowe in the Bear Garden and Hope. He was buried at St. Saviour’s 
on 9 July 1624 (Bodl.). 

MELYONEK, JOHN. Master of Chapel (?), 1483-5. 

MERYELL, HENRY. Chapel, 1509. 

MILS (MYLLES), TOBIAS. Queen’s, 1583. Heywood notes him as 
before his time. He was buried as * one of the Queenes Maiesties 
players’ at St. Olave’s, Southwark, on 11 July 1585, and his sons William 
and Toby were baptized on 3 January 1584 and 5 September 1585 
( Bodl .)♦ Probably, therefore, ‘ one Myles, one of my lord of Summer- 
settes players ’, whose testimony to the value of Bath waters for the 
gout is cited in a hydropathic treatise of 1557 (Collier, i. 139), was of 
an older generation. Somerset was beheaded on 22 January 1552. 
Robert Cecil had a Secretary Milles, whose son Tobias was buried 
at Chelsea on 9 April 1599 (R. Davies, Chelsea Old Church , 296). 
MOON, PETER. Payee for a company of players at Ipswich, 1562 
(Murray, ii. 287). 

MOORE, JOSEPH. Lady Elizabeth’s, 1611 ; 1616-29. He lived at 
the Harrow in Barbican in 1623 (Murray, i. 252 ; J. 347). 
MOTTERAM, JOHN. Chapel, 1600-1. 

MUFFORD, JOHN. Beauchamp’s, 10 June 1590 (Murray, ii. 337). 
MULCASTER (MONCASTER), RICHARD. Head Master of Merchant 
Taylors, 1561-86 ; of St. Paul’s Grammar School, 1596-1608. 
MUNDAY, ANTONY. A player before 1582, according to a contem- 
porary pamphlet, possibly with Oxford’s, whose * servant ’ he was in 
1580, and dramatist (cf. ch. xxiii). 

NASION. Paul’s chorister, >1582. 

* NED.’ Musician (?) in Summer's Last Will and Testament , prol . 7. 
‘NED.’ Strange’s (?), 1590-1. 

NETHE, JOHN. A London player in 1550 (cf. App. D, No. v). 
NETHERSALL, JOHN. A London player in 1550 (cf. App. D, 
No. v). 

NEWARK, WILLIAM. Master of Chapel, 1493-1509. 

NEWMAN, JOHN. Blackfriars lessee, 1581-3. 

NEWTON, JOHN. Charles’s, 1610, 1616, 1619, 1625. 

4 NICK.’ Admiral’s, 1601-3. See also Tooley. 



ACTORS 


33 * 

NILL, JOHN. A ' player ’ whose daughter Alice was baptized at 
St. Saviour’s on 13 August 1601 (Bodl.). 

NORWOOD. Paul’s, 1599. 

NYCOWLLES, ROBERT. A ‘ player ’ who witnessed a loan to 
Francis Henslowe on 1 June 159 5 (H. i. 6). 

OFFLEY, THOMAS. Paul’s, c. 1522. 

OSTLER, WILLIAM, began his career as a boy actor in the Chapel 
company. He took a part in Jonson’s Poetaster in 1601. From the 
Sharers Papers we learn that on growing up he was, like Field and 
Underwood, * taken to strengthen the King’s service \ 1 He first 
appears amongst the King’s men in the cast of Jonson’s The Alchemist 
in 1610, and played also in Catiline , The Captain } The Duchess of Malfi , 
in which he took the part of Antonio, Valentinian , knd Bonduca. The 
following epigram in John Davies, Scourge of Folly (c. 1611), attests 
his fame and his participation in some forgotten brawl : 

To the Roscius of these Times , Mr. W. Ostler. 

Ostler, thou took'st a knock thou would’st have giv’n, 

Neere sent thee to thy latest home : but O ! 

Where was thine action, when thy crown was riv’n. 

Sole King of Actors 1 then wast idle 7 No : 

Thou hadst it, for thou would’st bee doing ? Thus 
Good actors deeds are oft most dangerous ; 

But if thou plaist thy dying part as well 
As thy stage parts, thou hast no part in hell. 

Ostler married Thomasine, daughter of John Heminges, in 1611. His 
son Beaumont was baptized at St. Mary’s, Aldermanbury, on 18 May 
1612. 2 He acquired shares in the Blackfriars on 20 May 1611, and the 
Globe on 20 February 1612, and died on 16 December 1614, leaving 
his shares a subject for litigation between his widow and Heminges 
(q.v.). 

PAGE, OLIVER. A London player in 1550 (App. D, No. v). 
PALLANT, ROBERT. Strange’s (?), 1 590-1 ; Worcester’s-Anne’s, 
1602-19 > Lady Elizabeth’s, 1614 ; Charles’s, 1616 ; King’s, 1619, 
unless, indeed, the R. Pallant who played the female part of Cariola 
in Duchess of Malfi was of a younger generation. This is not unlikely, 
for while the St. Saviour’s registers record the burial of Robert Pallant, 

‘ a man,’ on 4 September 1619, the token-books give the name in 1621 
as well as in 1612 and 1616. Ephraim and Hanburye, sons of Robert 
Pallant * player ’, were baptized there on 1 January 1611 and 3 July 
1614 respectively. There were others earlier. Pallant wrote commen- 
datory verses for Hey wood’s Apology (1612), and is noted as visiting 
Henslowe on his death-bed on 6 January 1616 (H. ii. 20, 300 ; Bodl). 
PANT, THOMAS. Unlicensed player, 1607-10 (cf. ch. ix, p. 304). 
PARR, WILLIAM. Admiral’s-Henry’s-Palsgrave’s, 1602-20. 
PARROWE (PARLOWE), RICHARD. Interludes, 1538-45. 
PARSELEY, RICHARD. A London player in 1550 (cf. App. D, 
No. v). 


1 Halliwell-Phillipps, i. 317. 


8 Collier, iii. 423. 



33 * 


ACTORS 


PARSONS, THOMAS, Admiral’s, 1597, 1602 (H. ii. 301), 
PATESON, WILLIAM. Worcester’s, 1584. 

PAVY. Admiral’s, 1602. 

PAVY, SALATHIEL (SALMON). Chapel, 1600-3. An epitaph on 
him is in Jonson’s Epigrams (1616), cxx, which gives his age at death, 
after three years of playing, as 13. He was * apprentice to one Peerce ’, 
when he was pressed for the Chapel. This is not likely to have been 
the Master of Paul’s, from whom it would have been rash to take a boy. 
PAYNE, ROBERT. Revels patentee, 1604. 

PEACOCKE, ROBERT. A London player in 1550 (cf. App. D, No. v). 
PEARCE (PIERS), EDWARD. Gentleman of Chapel, 1589 ; Master 
of Paul’s, 1600. 

PEDEL, ABRAHAM. Germany, 1614-15 ; Palsgrave’s, 1623. He 
lived at George Alley in Golden Lane in 1623 (J. 348, 350). 

PEDEL (BEHEL, BIEL), JACOB. Germany, 1597, 1614-15. 
PEDEL, WILLIAM. Holland, 1608 ; Germany, 1614-15. Children 
of a William Peadle, variously described as * tumbler ’ and 1 gentleman ’, 
were baptized at St. Saviour’s, Southwark, in 1610, 1617, and 1629 
( Bodl . ). 

PENN, WILLIAM. Revels, 1609 ; Charles’s, 1616, 1625. He lived 
at George Alley, Golden Lane, in 1623 and had children baptized and 
buried at St. Giles’s, Cripplegate, in 1636 (J. 347 ; Bodl.). 

PENTON, FABIAN. Germany, 1602. 

PEPEREL, GILES. Possibly an actor in the Bugbears of John Jeffere 
(cf. ch. xxiii). 

PERKIN, JOHN. Leicester’s, 1 572-4. Is he the Parkins who assisted 
George Ferrers as Lord of Misrule in 1552-3 (Feuillerat, Edw. and Mary , 
120) ? 

PERKINS, RICHARD. Worcester’s- Anne’s, 1602-19 ; for his later 
history, cf. Murray, i. 198, 200, 266. He wrote commendatory verses 
for Heywood’s Apology (1612), and Webster praises his acting in The 
White Devil (1612) in a note at the end of the print. His portrait is at 
Dulwich. He lived at the upper end of St. John’s Street in 1623 (H. ii. 
301 ; J. 347). 

PERRY, WILLIAM. Licensee for 2 King’s Revels, 1615 ; Queen’s 
Revels manager, 1617. 

PERSJ (PERSTEN), ROBERT (RUPERT). Denmark-Germany, 
1586-7. 

PERSONN, JOHANN. Denmark, 1579-80. 

PERY, ROBERT. Chapel,